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The Girlfriend Experience (2009)

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A drama set in the days leading up to the 2008 Presidential election, and centered on a high-end Manhattan call girl meeting the challenges of her boyfriend, her clients, and her work.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sasha Grey ... Chelsea / Christine
Chris Santos ... Chris
Philip Eytan Philip Eytan ... Phillip
Colby Trane Colby Trane ... Waiter (as T. Colby Trane)
Peter Zizzo Peter Zizzo ... Zizzo
Ron Stein ... Vegas Buddy #1
Marshall Gilman Marshall Gilman ... Vegas Buddy #2
Michael Roberts Michael Roberts ... Vegas Buddy #3
Vincent Dellacera Vincent Dellacera ... Chelsea's Driver
Jim Kempner ... Art Gallery Owner
David Levien David Levien ... David
Mark Jacobson Mark Jacobson ... Interviewer
Alan Milstein Alan Milstein ... Pete
Sukhdev Singh Sukhdev Singh ... Chris & Chelsea's Super
Ted Jessup Ted Jessup ... Chatty 'John'
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

See it with someone you ****

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

8 July 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

GfE See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$204,112, 24 May 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$695,417, 30 August 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Soderbergh first heard about Sasha Grey when he read an article in Los Angeles magazine about her. See more »

Quotes

Chelsea: 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.
Interviewer: Suppose I'm that rare client that really wants to...
Chelsea: If they wanted you to be yourself, they wouldn't be paying you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Entourage: Porn Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot Tub
Written by Cody Hoover and Meriam Benezra
Performed by Freedom Tickler
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The closer to reality, the bigger the distortion
21 November 2009 | by hasoschSee all my reviews

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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