On the Doll (2007) Poster

(2007)

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Gimme a break
lazarillo26 January 2013
This movie basically tries to expose the "dark side" of the sex industry, but it does so in a decidedly PG-13 and completely (and at times laughably) implausible manner.

There are three interweaving stories here. One involves a young adult sex abuse survivor named "Jizz" who works at a print sex magazine because he is trying to buy the freedom of a physically crippled childhood friend who works in a peep show booth. Even assuming there are any peep shows still around, it's pretty hard to believe that in Hollywood--a town full of struggling, adult actresses--they would have to resort to keeping a physically disabled sex slave, who never actually seems to take off her clothes. Anyway, "Jizz" gets together with another prostitute (Brittany Snow), who also never takes off her clothes and doesn't seem to have to do anything more degrading than tie up a john and punch him in the gonads. It's not COMPLETELY unbelievable that some pervert would pay a girl hundreds of dollars to tie him up and punch him in the nuts, but this idiot also happens to be a mob "bag man" who's carrying thousands of dollars with him at the time!

Another story involves two "high school" girls who are both implausibly mature-looking and unbelievably naive and stupid. They get preyed upon by a ridiculously evil teacher (if this guy had a moustache he'd be twirling it). A real teacher these days would probably be fired for even having two students in his car, yet we're supposed to believe this guy can drive female students to porn shoots, masturbate in the street while they flash their panties, feed them drugs, and worse, yet they can't tell their parents, the cops, or their fricking school principal because "no one will believe" them. The only halfway believable story involves a young couple trying to save up money for marriage. She's another prostitute who apparently never has to take off her clothes or perform actual sex acts, and he's her pimp/driver.

There's nothing wrong with condemning the modern-day sex industry; it's just that nothing in this film remotely resembles the REAL-LIFE modern day sex industry. And I know that having a lot of sex and nudity might have made this film kind of hypocritical given the dim view it takes on the sex trade, but it also might have made it slightly less boring and worthless. The PG-13 content is just one more element that serves to make this movie the steaming crock of laughable bullsh*t that it is.
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7/10
Confused Screenplay about Perversions, Sex and Tragedies
claudio_carvalho19 September 2009
In Los Angeles, Jaron "Jizz" (Josh Janowicz) is a needy teenager that was molested when he was a child and works publishing advertisements for the sex industry. He discounts one hundred dollars in his paychecks to release Tara (Angela Sarafyan), who works in a peep cabin in Paulie's, for the powerful lord of the sex industry Jimmy Sours (Paul Ben-Victor). He teams-up with the whore Balery (Brittany Snow), who is seeking out a partner to steal a rich client, to raise the necessary money to pay Jimmy. Mr. Garrett (Eddie Jemison) is the perverted Health teacher of a high-school; his sluttish students Melody (Candice Accola) and Courtney (Chloe Dumont) like to tease him, crossing their legs while wearing mini-skirts to see him masturbating in his car. Mr. Garrett takes them to join the Internet porn industry and to use pills, and Melody is raped by the sick teacher. The escort Chantel (Shanna Collins) attends kinky clients to satisfy their fantasies and is protected by her pimp Wes (Clayne Crawford). When Wes tries to force the entry in a client's house, the man reacts and the lives of the lead characters are entwined in a tragedy.

"On the Doll" is a dark movie with a confused screenplay that recalls the style of "Crash" about perversions and sex industry that ends in tragedies. The characters in general are poorly developed like, for example, Tara. Is she the girl from Jaron's dream that felt off the roof on the sidewalk? The sympathetic Jaron is under therapy learning to take care of himself and his characters is reasonably developed. Mel and Courtney provoked the situation with their teacher acting like sluts. And Chantel and Wes are the less interesting characters. It is great to see Theresa Russell still very beautiful and elegant since I am a fan of this underrated actress. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Prazeres Proibidos" ("Forbidden Pleasures")
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5/10
important, but not good enough
omniron18 June 2008
Just saw the film and still can't make my mind about it.

while it seems to raise a painful picture of sexual deviancy, and its effect on the main characters it's not deep enough to make the point it tries to make. The main visual representation of the idea is a misfired bullet from a gun (phallic symbol, no doubt) that lands with unforeseen result and causing mayhem, looks a bit student-like, and makes the film seem manipulated and even shallow. However, being an important subject, illustrating modern western moral decay through sexual decadence is an important one, it has some redeeming values. However, that massage as portrayed is quite coarse and unrefined. On top of that the acting is pretty bad all around. This looks like a pretty good student film that deals with an important subject, and I hope it's makers move on to better scripts. On the whole I would say that it is worth watching but not the best of it's kind.
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4/10
Depends on your taste
dragons260717 June 2008
To start off with, I'm habitually bad at objectively rating movies. I know this, my wife knows this, and everyone around me knows this. I'm the kind of guy at the theater that likes a movie but can't explain why. If I like a movie, I like it 100% - and if I hated it, I'll recommend against people watching it.

"On the Doll" was the first movie I ever actually watched that I felt I could objectively rate and comment on without throwing some over-the-top rating to it. There's a LOT of reference to sex, but virtually no nudity. The theme is based around this post-high school, "grunge" style of direction that seems to be rampant amongst the college generation. In other words, the director tries to set the stage for the film on the backdrop of a sub-culture that many people are unaware of. He does this from three different angles: The Prostitute, The Teenagers, and the Hero.

Now, from the premise of the movie - we were supposed to be inundated with life revolving around people who were sexually abused as young kids. Honestly - I found this part of the movie very lacking, and not that I wanted them to explore this verbatim, but I would have liked the back stories to go a bit more in depth. In the end, it left the idea of the movie and the characters stagnant at best. For saying this was the main premise of the movie - you don't really get a look into how they seem to feel about what happened to them. Book after book has been written on the subject from people who have been abused, and I think if you were going to use that as the focal point of a movie - you would, in the least, spend time going over the mental backlash that such atrocities would inflict on young minds.

The director spent more time trying to play a catch and grab game with the audience - that in my opinion, failed miserably. There were certain characters you absolutely hate, others that you love and respect, and some you feel indifferent about. The fact is, if this movie could be rated as half-way decent, it's because of the acting.

In the end, I think it's safe to say that the movie ended quite abruptly and didn't really seem to accomplish much. The character development was strong, and I feel like each story told a very different tale of life in the "sex lane" - but to elude that this movie in anyway represented victims of abuse is just a tag line to get people to watch it. This was a quaint drama with opposing forces mixed in that didn't really accomplish much of anything.

I went into this expecting good things, but was left slightly dissatisfied and felt the presence of good, upcoming young actors was all that saved it from being horrid.

4/10
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1/10
I'd Stay Away
Barrylevinbar6 July 2008
Heard this was the bad joke of the Austin Film Fest. After reviewing this for myself its more then easy to see why. First off the script comes across as being written by a dirty old man enjoying himself more then the audience would ever as he imagines the lives of low life uncared for teenagers. . The 99% untried actors try to handle the unlikely all over the place creepy fantasy but there are problems to the right and left.

They should mention the cheap background sets in the description on the cover of the DVD. One was supposed to be an eatery that was clearly someones house. Most of the rest were pretty terrible. I'm probably going to have to say its the only fun part of the cheap movie to watch. Unless your a deviant who gets off on watching abused children I'd stay away of this. I thought it would be decent quality..i was wrong.
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9/10
Good movie, but not for everyone...
Balcanmaster13 April 2013
Well, this film is not for everyone - I see some other reviews here, mostly negative; maybe not everyone understands it. Good script, good casting, good directing, good camera, good editing, good soundtrack, everything on good professional level. Certainly not a masterpiece, but good craft work, considering low budget.

Maybe this is the film for a limited audience that can evaluate it professionally or for viewers who see life from his shadow side ... at least I give 9/10, because I see a potentially very strong film crew who has done a good job ...

I think that this kind of movies are directed towards a smarter and more sensitive audience that have no illusions about the dark side of life and is not afraid to peek behind it ...
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1/10
Funny As A Child Molester. An Insult To Intelligence
renalnd26 June 2008
A larded use of content considered taboo and shocking by the general populace with plenty of oddly written dialog coming at you wrapped in artistic pretension. On The Doll serves to exploit a serious issue. Pedophilia, molesters, right along side with their abused children are all here on the plate as entertainment. Though the editing is well executed its the opposite of being a '"star vehicle" for Brittany Snow. The other actors give us their best student like performances. Yes, this film is terrible but not in the fun way. The end leaves one wondering what is the exact personal problem(s)of writer/director Thomas Mignone to take such an interest here.
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2/10
Plot from a fever dream
emdoub1 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Good acting, considering the remarkably puerile script they had to work with. The characters were almost totally unbelievable, the only motivation any of them had to work with was "bizarrely deviant" or "abused as a child", and the sketchy history that brings the characters to the period of the movie is told in such a drawn-out, patchy fashion that it simply becomes annoying, rather than dramatic, as the author seems to have intended.

The "unrated" label is a draw for people wanting to see something explicit - but only the language and sexual situations would prevent this from a PG rating.

*** Spoilers follow *** The teacher who obviously masturbates watching his students, the students who obviously encourage this by giving him up-skirt shots, then go with him to enlist in producing internet porn, the escort who storms out of a "date" within 90 seconds because the client wants to touch her, the over-the-top fetishes shown all prevent the viewer from being able to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy any part of this movie. As another reviewer pointed out, the acting is pretty good - but that's all there is to see here.
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10/10
Wow, i really enjoyed this
tensux14 June 2008
I love this site. I usually pay a lot of attention to the scores before I watch a movie. In this case I am glad I didn't pay attention.

I watch a lot of independent films, but i don't pay attention to who made what who starred in what. I just don't care. I just watch and enjoy. I wasn't good at book reviews when i was a kid, and nothings changed but here goes...

I think the low votes must be from people who found the movie too shocking. Or people who couldn't empathize or want to empathize with the characters. It is not necessarily graphic or vulgar. Its not even that dark. Its just unique. It is just the right mix of real life drama/Hollywood.

All I can say is watch this movie. And if you are better than me at giving reviews then do everyone else a favor and clue them in.
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8/10
This movie is really good!
Biffe16 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie without any expectations that it would be very good. I had not heard anything about it and it looked like a B-movie from the horror-genre. I was very surprised over how engaging it was and what a good job the director/writer had done. It captured me right away and I watched through it with a growing admiration for the story and the characters. The editing is also very good and the score is also well done.

We see three different stories from the sex-industry that have something in common based on an unusual twist. We follow the main characters rather depressing life and their struggle to get something positive out of their situation. The story, which can be a bit confusing at first, clears up in the end with a surprising and moving climax.

Too me, this movie tells something about how sometimes, when we think we can fix anything, you have to take a closer look to see that it is lost no matter what you do and that some souls are destined to go under as a consequence of the path their life has taken...

This is a capturing drama from a part of our society that we see everyday, but don't want to know about...
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5/10
Dark and scary
EXodus25X26 July 2008
This film is dark, sick and scary, I assume for the most part it does accurately describe parts of the sex industry and the damaged people who choose and yes I say choose to live in it. I find it very telling that most people in the industry either are screwed up going in or become screwed up while they are a part of it. What is it that attracts damaged people and also what is it that turns descent people into the scum of this earth. OK, back to the film, it seems to represent this lifestyle well, but still not the into the depth of say a Boogie Nights. The actors are of much lower quality and at times you feel that things are on screen just to shock you and not to add anything to the characters or storyline. Then there is what I call the Crash effect, let me explain, since the film Crash came out (one of the best films of all-time if you ask me) many films have tried to imitate the conversation storyline style and none have done it well or anything close to as well as Crash did. This film is no exception of this, it tries to hard to connect it's characters to the point where it just loses any kind of realism factor. Now I don't mind being surprised by a films end or how it connects it's characters when it's good and it works, this is not that. Overall an OK film that does take on some controversial issues without being overly graphic, but the actors and director tried to hard to make it more poignant then it was.
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6/10
A Hard Watch About The Darker Sides of Society
solojere19 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, so this obviously isn't a movie for everyone as it deals with the darkest aspects of modern society such as Sex\human trafficking's, Sex workers/prostitution, child pornography, and perverted teachers. With that being said, this film is kind of a mixed bag. In places, the film feels a bit rushed, and the acting is a bit wooden. However, I can't imagine it had much of a budget to work with. Other than Brittany Snow, the rest of the cast is meh. Even Brittany Snow feels slightly wasted as she is only in a few scenes, and her character's motivation is a little unclear. This is primarily due to the fact this film has too many characters, all of whom are one dimensional. The ending also feels rushed and unearned. Nevertheless, the film does raise some interesting questions about our current culture, such as do Sex workers have rights? Also, it touches lightly upon rape culture and victim-blaming and rape culture. (If you've seen the film, that perv got what he deserved). I can certainly see why some would hate it. In the end, this movie is nothing special, but if you have the stomach for it, I would definitely recommend watching it. (Spoiler )If for nothing else, then to see Brittany Snow freak out while repeatedly punching a pervert.
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2/10
Is there a creepy side to sex?
Elewis119514 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
When it's not consensual, sure. I give the makers of this movie an 8 out of 10 for effort as they skipped around many different subjects, and a 2 out of 10 for delivery. It's too often dull, sometimes unpleasant, often only showing the unpleasant aspects of sex and in once S&M scene, a little too hot for the rest of the movie, I mean, if they were going for when sex goes wrong, they shouldn't have made it quite so "Wow, I almost want to try that".

The movie fails on many levels. It's not fast paced but more stumbling from story to story, it doesn't effectively convey any message beyond oh-my-god-that's awful, it's got a little too much anger, too much disrespect and no heart. It's hard to feel any true connection to any of the characters.

Most of us have little doubt that there's a dark and horrible side to the sex industry and if you want to tell that in a story, make a documentary. If you want to tell it in fiction, follow the rules of fiction and give us a character we can relate to, that we can root for, that we can feel the struggle towards triumph or tragedy or occasional comedy like the Greeks outlined for proper fiction. This film tries to tell several stories, all of them lack heart and it fails to deliver.
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