THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE
Release Date: May 22, 2009
Starring: Sasha Grey, Chris Santos, Mark
Jaconson, and Glenn Kenny
Runtime: 77 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Executive Producer: Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban
Producer: Gregory Jacobs
Writer: Brian Koppelman and David
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THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE is a low-budget Marxist critique of American society that compares capitalism to prostitution, something that many Marxists, including Godard, have often done in the past. The movie stars a real-life porn actress as Chelsea, a young “escort” lady in New York City who offers herself as a companion to rich men even though she is living with her boyfriend, Chris. Set during the beginning of the economic crisis last fall, the story focuses on Chelsea’s efforts to make herself more marketable in the downturn. She even gets economic advice from some of her wealthy clients, some of whom are shown discussing the economic crisis among themselves. Finally, Chelsea’s live-in boyfriend, who’s okay with her prostitution, gets upset when Chelsea suddenly thinks she’s falling in love with a new married client from Los Angeles. Chris does not believe the man will leave his wife and two daughters for her.
Like many independent dramas, there’s practically no jeopardy and little conflict in THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE. Most of the dialogue is static, and the characterizations are rather boring and shallow.
Though the movie contains explicit sexual references and nudity, it is tamer than one might expect, considering the subject matter. The comparison of capitalism to prostitution is a tired, abhorrent Marxist cliché that, regrettably, is still taught on many college campuses today. This humanist movie will have very little traction at the box office. It will be a very minor footnote in cinema history and is only noteworthy because it shows how Marxist aesthetics can destroy the career (and mind) of a filmmaker like Steven Soderbergh, who does have some talent. Marxism clearly warps one’s minds and one’s gifts.
THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE also contains plenty of strong foul language and an anti-Semitic scene involving the prostitute and a stereotypical, supposedly devout Jewish jeweler.
Like many independent dramas, there’s practically no jeopardy in THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE. Most of the dialogue is static, and the characterizations are boring. Though the movie contains explicit sexual references and nudity, it is tamer than one might expect, considering the subject matter. It also has plenty of strong foul language. The movie’s comparison of capitalism to prostitution is a tired, abhorrent Marxist cliché. This humanist movie is only noteworthy because it was directed by an acclaimed and talented, but obviously over-rated, director. Marxism clearly warps one’s mind and one’s gifts.