This Girl's Life (2003)

(Premiere Date: July 7, 2003 [Karlovy Vary Film Festival - Czech Republic])
(USA Release Date: December 3, 2004)


A rare feminine viewpoint on Porn that still manages to miss the mark

J.C. Mašek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

The R-Rated Version:
The UN-CUT Version:
Somewhere between the slice-of-life, camera-in-the-face true life confession-style flicks where the actors break character to talk to the camera, and your typical Friday Night Skinemax Soft-Core-Porn falls This Girl's Life. This is a film about porn, written and directed by a guy with a porn sounding name that features porn scenes and actually a few porn actresses. It also works quite hard to be a serious and hard-hitting independent drama of high quality.

Jenna's Take: . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jenna's Ass:

While it doesn't quite make the mark on this one, there is a lot of good to be seen in this movie. Not the least of these good things is lead actress Juliette Marquis, a strikingly beautiful woman, who seems to become more attractive as the film progresses. She also gives the best acting performance of this uneven film. Marqis portrays Moon, one of the most popular porn actresses of the present day. Told almost exclusively from her point of view, This Girl's Life gives a unique perspective into the blue biz by showing a young lady who chose to act in pornographic movies, not out of a need for drug-money, or because she was molested as a child, but because she chose to! As we travel through her life and her lifestyle, we see a lot of her (and her body is as beautiful as her face), we hear why she's doing what she's doing, we meet her friends and family and share some of her aspirations. We even get to see her first film shoot (a girl-on-girl scene between Moon and Cheyenne Silver) which shows a beautiful and wide-eyed young lady not believing what she's doing, but believing that she loves it.

Writer/ Director Ash does a fine job of putting a human and female face on the Porn Industry, without icing over the concept that the Porn has a seedy underbelly below its seedy underbelly. On one hand Moon has a normal life. She lovingly takes care of her father (James Woods), who suffers from Parkinson's Disease. She has a group of normal friends outside the porn industry (Rosario Dawson, Kam Heskin, and aspiring boyfriend Kip Pardue to name a few) who mesh relatively well from her porn flick girlfriends (Sung Hi Lee, Cheyenne, and Natalie Taylor). And after all... she isn't hurting anybody!

There is also a palpable emotion surrounding Moon and her friends. As normal as things seem to be in parts, Moon's inability to have a normal dating life is handled well, as is her conflict with friends who feel that porn is bad for women in general. There are some things that aren't quite so ambiguous, such as the smooth talking sleaze of porn producer Tomas Arana who has few qualms about showing the fatherly face when required, followed by a pinky-toot of Coke, a slap in the face and a sexist attitude of ownership when a porn actress becomes uncomfortable about performing in a 20 man gangbang. And, yes, there is the constant spectre of the "AIDS scare".

Unfortunately Ash loses focus around halfway through as Moon takes on a second profession as a "sex inspector" hired by women to see if their significant others are, or could be convinced to start, cheating. This allows for a string of cameo appearances from Sherrie Rose, Ioan Gruffudd, Isaiah Washington and Michael Rapaport in his most annoying screen appearance since Higher Learning! Marquis' fine acting still works here as she finds a new gamut of emotions to run, however, this performance is the only thing keeping the entire second half afloat. The things that didn't quite work in the first half are amplified to the point of almost congressional ineptitude in the second, and logic flies out the window like a premature ejaculation blooper. So many things only make sense with Moon's constant narration, and even with this narration, quite often it only succeeds in a "because Ash said so" kind of way.

In a series of very real examples This Girl's Life much more resembles a higher quality and higher risk version of Showgirls, with many of the same things happening and many of the same things failing. There are some moments of quality, and not just limited to the beauty and sex. There was vision here. Sadly, there were also a lot of blind spots throughout the film that finally take over completely in the last several minutes before the credits roll. Two and one half stars out of Five for This Girl's Life the hot pic that works hard on being of the quality of Boys Don't Cry, but ends up feeling a lot more like your straight-to-DVD fare of Misty Mundae. Still, I'm ready at any point to see Juliette Marquis again in just about anything. And yes, I'm ready at any point to see Juliette Marquis again in just about nothing. See you in the next unclothed reel!

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This Girl's Life (2003) reviewed by J.C. Mašek III, who is writing this at 9:34 AM on Sunday, December 4th, 2005, because he couldn't get his wife to watch Pirates with him.
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