Chelsea (Sasha Grey) is a high-priced $2,000-an-hour call girl in Manhattan, offering a 'girlfriend experience': she'll dress with the client in mind, go to dinner and a movie, listen attentively to talk about work and finances, and she'll provide sex. It's October, 2008: a presidential election nears and the economy is in free fall. She has a boyfriend, Chris (Chris Santos), who's a personal trainer. We are shown five non-consecutive days in Chelsea's life. She's working on her Web page, talking to image consultants, and being interviewed by a reporter. She asks clients when their birthdays are and uses that for an astrological prediction. She's drawn to a new client, a writer from L.A. Should she break her rules for him? What if it risks her relationship with Chris? Should she invest in gold?Written by
Sometimes clients think they want the real you, but at the end of the day, they say they don't. They want what... they want what you want to be. They want you to be something else. They don't want you to be yourself.
Suppose I'm that rare client that really wants to...
If they wanted you to be yourself, they wouldn't be paying you.
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After the end credits, there's a brief scene of Chelsea washing a client's hair as he sits in a bathtub and talks about John McCain. See more »
When Rosa Von Praunheim wanted to make a film about Fassbinder's "widows", he just took a camera and went from apartment to apartment, from restaurant to restaurant and filmed what came in front of his camera. The end-product he called a "near-reality" movie. When German journalist Günther Wallraff wanted to document discrimination and racism in German plants, he masked himself as a Turk and worked with hidden cameras. The US-university professor Barbara Ehrenreich did the same some years ago when she wanted to collect material for a study about the working-poor in America.
I wonder why Soderbergh did not the same and just followed a real call-girl through a representative couple of days, thereby illustrating the different aspects of her work. Pseudo-documentaries are almost worthless because the border between fiction and reality is too close, and still in this closeness there is the biggest lie which every audience senses deeply. Instead of that he spent 2 millions of dollars which he filmed through in only a couple of days. Did he pay the 2'000 dollars which Sasha Gray probably gets in reality? It would be a fruitful experiment to calculate the minutes together during which she is shown in the 77 minutes movie.
Unfortunately, the movie is neither a stylized product of genre-crossing nor can it be taken for experimental work - it is mostly comparable with that TV series that the late Ede Zimmermann invented in the Germany of the late 50ies - where actual criminal deeds were played by actors and broadcast on TV in the hope that someone would be a witness of the real crime. Here, the imitation fulfilled practical purposes, but in "The Girlfriend Experience? - What is it then, that Soderbergh wanted to show? That even "love" and not only sex can be bought? - But oh no, he is already a while on this world, isn't he?
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