It’s no surprise that, rather than a most established performer and actress like Scarlett Johannson or Christina Hendricks, director Steven Soderbergh sought out Sasha Grey for the lead role in “The Girlfriend Experience.” Grey had spent years making millions off building the fantasies of her male (and female) audience with dozens of notable porn movies, as well as building a humongous line of sex toys that promote fantasy fulfillment for an audience that want every piece of her. Much like Grey, “The Girlfriend Experience” is about the fantasy and the reality that we may not realize isn’t always enticing.
Criticize director Steven Soderbergh all you want for casting someone who isn’t an actual actor to lead a star rich action film, but director Steven Soderbergh accomplishes something studios are often too narrow minded to try. He casts a woman who is brawn, beauty, and brains all in one. While Hollywood and directors have a fetish for casting wafer thin women who look as if they can barely hold a pencil let alone a machine gun (I’m looking at you Milla Jovovich), star Gina Carano is a woman who is built like a fighter in every sense of the word and approaches every single brilliantly staged fight scene with competence and believability, because there’s no doubting a woman of her presence can handle a man two times her size.
Coming across as a pseudo “The Sting” except with much more comedy, five lowlife criminals discover the ultimate heist and decide to pull it off, but discover it’s not as glorious as it may be. This is hilarious. I have never laughed so hard in a modern comedy as I have with this; most of the antics reminded me of an “I Love Lucy” episode from the incident in the funhouse, to the water filled sewer, to when they have to cross the heated pipe and carnage ensues, this is hilarious. Director/writer team Anthony Russo and Joe Russo create fresh and original comedy out of a typical plot for a movie that could have easily fumbled into bad territory.