(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)
Why I added it to my queue: Because it's one of those notorious low-budget digital-video experiments that Steven Soderbergh kicks out once every couple of years, in this case a character drama focusing on an ultra-expensive prostitute trying to thrive in the midst of the 2008 financial meltdown (played by real-life porn star and hipster obsession Sasha Grey, the detail that got this movie most of its publicity); and although I find Soderbergh's experimental movies to be real hit-and-miss, they always seem to be worth at least checking out.
The reality: UGH. I don't know if I maybe just watched this on the wrong day, but I ended up having to turn off The Girlfriend Experience not even a half-hour into it, so disgusted as I was by the cocaine-snorting oblivious frat-boy characters populating this dour mess of a film, and the cold, emotionless, conniving way that all these people spend their entire lives trying to figure out how to scam each other more and more and more and more. I mean, yes, that's the entire point -- it's Soderbergh's unflinching look at exactly what went wrong at the end of the Bush Years, as told through the filter of this capitalism-as-lifestyle whore stuck in the middle of all these ultra-rich stockbrokers who are all in the process of going down in flames; but maybe it's because I actually had to ride out this financial meltdown a year ago, I don't know, but I just was absolutely not up for a two-hour movie reminding me all over again how such people completely f-cked over our country, just so they could keep affording their weekend private-jet jaunts to Vegas and their thousand-dollar-an-hour sessions with whores exactly like Sasha Grey's calculating character here. I have a feeling that if I watch this in another decade from now, I'll find it brilliant; but coming so soon after The Troubles like right now, I unfortunately found The Girlfriend Experience nearly unwatchable.
Strangest piece of trivia: This movie was shot for just a little over a million dollars, featuring a cast of mostly non-professionals.
Worth your time? Yes, but only if you can watch it without getting emotionally invested like I did