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The Girlfriend Experience

Drama . Comedy

Chelsea is an in-demand call girl whose $2,000 an hour price tag allows her to live in New York's lap of luxury. Besides her beauty and sexual skill, Chelsea offers her clients companionship and conversation, or, as she dubs it, "the girlfriend experience." With her successful business and a devoted, live-in boyfriend, Chelsea thinks she has it made... until a new client rocks her world.

Actors: Peter Zizzo , Chris Santos , Sasha Grey , Philip Eytan , Bridget Storm , Ken Myers , Kimberly Magness , Ted Jessup , Jeff Grossman , Timothy Davis , Timothy J. Cox , Colby Trane
Directors: Steven Soderbergh
Country: USA
Release: 2009-07-08
More Info:
  • Roger Ebert

    This film is true about human nature. It is not universal, but within its particular focus, it is unrelenting.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The smartest thing director Steven Soderbergh did in the making of The Girlfriend Experience was to cast Sasha Grey.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    The Girlfriend Experience is one of Steven Soderbergh's bite-size, semi-improvised, shot-on-DV doodles (like Bubble or Full Frontal), and it's the best one he's made.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Fair warning: I had to see The Girlfriend Experience twice before its pieces settled into coherent shape.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    The thinking behind Grey's casting, with its obvious sex-industry connections, lends the film a degree of verisimilitude, but it really pays off in a cameo by film critic Glenn Kenny, who brings a hilariously sleazy theatricality to the role of an "escort critic" who expects graft for his reviews.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Rick Kisonak

    Her beauty, independence, and stock portfolio notwithstanding, Chelsea’s tale is a timely, tragic one told with typical Soderbergh finesse, a sly, sleek merger of sex, lies and hi def video.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Stylishly shot on the high-def cheap, runs 77 potently sexless minutes. Its subject isn't erotica, it's commodities trading.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Perry Seibert

    Stands among the best of Soderbergh's many "little" films, where he recharges his artistic batteries and tries out new techniques before jumping back into the world of big budgets and superstars.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Voyeurism is a favorite pursuit of Americans, and The Girlfriend Experience works in large part because it indulges that pastime. The fascination with the film is that it offers an arm's-length opportunity to peer through a peephole into a lifestyle that will be exotic and alluring to most in the audience.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    This is one of the director's small, experimental, semi-improvised provocations, and if it doesn't push too deep, it's pointed enough to leave a mark.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Soderbergh's experiments are gripping -- the photography, music, wobbly chronology and so on -- but the movie is more of a curiosity than anything else.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    Grey isn't the first porn actress to go straight, but she may be the first to allegorize her own situation--projecting an on-screen self-confidence that’s indistinguishable from pathos.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    When the turmoil of the last 12 months has receded and the 10th-anniversary deluxe collectors edition comes around, this strange, numb cinematic experience may seem fresh, shocking and poignant rather than merely and depressingly true.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ronnie Scheib

    Fascinating study of free enterprise in free fall. While it may disappoint thrill-seekers, "Girlfriend" should still delight Soderbergh fans and niche auds.

    Variety Full Review
  • Jan Stuart

    The film manages a career-spanning panache: Soderbergh taps into the nervy impulses of his earliest endeavor, "sex, lies and videotape" as well as "Ocean's Eleven." The Girlfriend Experience has something to elevate and exasperate fans of both.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    A modest success that makes one wish Soderbergh could find some happy middle ground between funky experiments and "Ocean's Eleven."

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Moderately compelling and clinical. This isn't "Breakfast at Tiffany's"; this isn't even "Klute."

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    It's hampered by a listless quality and a one-note performance by porn-star-turned-actress Sasha Grey.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    The effect is impressionistic and provocative, with the emphasis falling differently on scenes because of our knowledge or lack thereof.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    Good central performances but short on plot.

    Empire Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Though the result is thematically slight, it's structurally sophisticated enough to reward a second viewing (or at least, unlike Grey's previous work, to be watched all the way through).

    Slate Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    The Girlfriend Experience uses nonprofessional actors, aside from lead Grey, who is the acclaimed star of more than 80 porn films and here debuts in her first "nonadult" role.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Robert Abele

    A compelling monotony, but one that's never quite pleasure, never quite pain and, therefore, never quite an experience.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Nowhere near as kinky or thinky as Soderbergh’s "sex, lies and videotape," Girlfriend pretends it has more on its mind than it really does.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Most of the dialogue is listless, and no matter how much Soderbergh snips and stitches, the movie is a corpse with twitching limbs.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Time for another of Steven Soderbergh's "experimental," i.e., half-assed, films.

    New York Post Full Review
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