This Spike Lee film examines the life of an aspiring actress in New York. She is upset by the treatment of women in the movie industry during one of her screen tests with 'QT'. Out of work ...
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Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.
This Spike Lee film examines the life of an aspiring actress in New York. She is upset by the treatment of women in the movie industry during one of her screen tests with 'QT'. Out of work and desperate for money, she decides to take a job as a phone-sex operator. Here, unlike her previous dealings with potential employers, her (female) boss is kind, caring, and sensitive. Later, she begins to get too engrossed in her work and starts to lose touch with reality, represented by her friend and neighbor, Jimmy.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Theresa Randle deserved far, far better than this movie as directed by Spike Lee.
Ms. Randle plays an aspiring actress mercilessly beaten down in the beginning by neurotic acting coaches, lecherous s.o.b. directors (except for Spike, of course), abusive production assistants telling her she can't go to the bathroom, etc., all laid on in hystrionic overdrive by Mr. Lee. He could have turned down the volume by three degrees and made his point more believably. She works three jobs to pay for her psychotic acting teacher's tirades, seemingly believing this is normal acting training. She walks out of an audition after being coerced to show her breasts by Quentin Tarantino, which costs her a huge opportunity, but preserves her dignity. (Showing her breasts was completely unnecessary and felt as exploitive as the audition. They could have shown her from behind and Quentin Tarantino's reaction, and her face as she is humiliated by doing it. Or she could have left before removing her top; having her do it after a long, lingering time feels that we get to have our jollies at her expense. (Isn't this the definition of "exploitation"? I *don't* believe this was an intentional point by Spike Lee.) Randle is presented by walking out as a woman of character and integrity. Naturally, her next job stop is to become a phone sex operator. We believe we are about to learn the inside scoop of how the phone sex industry works. Nope. We learn what the horny male perception would like the phone sex industry to be, which is especially bizarre considering this movie was written by a woman.
Girl 6 takes to phone sex like a fish to water, getting more turned on than her clients as the movie proceeds. We learn nothing more of her than that; which makes "Girl 6" the perfect title of this movie. Why do we need to know her name? The movie gives us no insight into her character, her motivation other to pay her rent, or reason to watch it. It's like participating in a phone sex conversation where you can see the person on video on the other end of the line.
I have no idea why Spike Lee made this film. We are introduced to a woman who is more interesting in the first 5 minutes of the film, as a woman struggling to keep her integrity in the face of abuse, than in the remaining two hours. We learn nothing of the phone sex industry, (not that this is a particularly burning issue for our times), and are not enlightened at all by the end. In addition, the character does unlikely things like agree to meet one of her frequent sex callers in person (!!). Then the phone sex addict stands her up. Just like a horny sex addict to do that. Was the "6" in the title referring to the girl's I.Q., or to Spike's, for expecting us to believe this happens, or that phone workers get turned on while talking to anonymous, masturbating schmucks? The depiction of her in the beginning in no way jibes with anything later in the film.
There is a danger in making movies about exploitation in that directors that depict it may seem to cross the line into exploitation themselves, unintentionally. I would like to give Spike Lee the benefit of this doubt, but I can't. As we learn absolutely nothing from two hours of heavy breathing, I feel, (pardon the expression), jerked off by a director who has created a film about jerking off, in a less subtle and more exploitive way than the industry it is supposedly based on. And that Theresa Randle, a first-rate actress, has been exploited by a man who claims to understand the word more than any other director around, but understands women about as deeply as the clients who call Girl 6.
I hope Randle gets to appear in the kind of movies with the directors she deserves.
This is my loudest and most vulgar review, in response to the tone of this movie. Three stars, based on story and direction only.
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