I’ll admit I was skeptical. Even biased. When I heard about “The Girlfriend Experience,” a movie about a high-end prostitute who provides companionship as well as sex — and what happens when she gets emotionally entangled with a client — I expected one of two things.
I expected a) a morality play about the consequences of turning love and sex into a commodity, with either a sadder- but- wiser ending in which the guy just can’t live with his girlfriend being a prostitute, or — more likely — a happy ending in which the prostitute leaves the business to be with the guy…
or else b) a wacky romantic comedy, the kind that might star Ashton Kutcher and Sarah Jessica Parker, full of amusing secrets and misunderstandings and cross-purposes that all come to a head at the end of the second act and all get resolved in the third. With, of course, a happy ending, in which the prostitute leaves the business to be with the guy.
I was wrong. It’s neither. Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience” is thoughtful, complex, emotionally nuanced, and thoroughly grown-up. It’s definitely a flawed movie (I’ll get to that in a moment), but it’s an interesting movie and is very much worth seeing. And, although the prostitute is the central character, in an odd way the movie isn’t really about prostitution. Instead, the movie uses prostitution as a way of commenting on the economies of human connection, underscoring the link between money and emotion in a variety of non-prostitution relationships… both professional and personal.
To find out more about this movie, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy! (And if you’re inspired to comment on this piece on this blog, please consider cross- posting your comment to the Blowfish Blog as well. They like comments there, too.)