Where Sophia Coppola is hailed as being an experimenter and a genius (Lost in Translation sucked), Soderbergh actually takes chances. Bubble casts actual people into roles who aren't actors (they worked in the doll factory that the movie was set in) and The Girlfriend Experience casts porn star Sasha Gray in a non-gratuitous, but more provocative role as a detached and arrogant escort who thinks nothing more than to surround herself with people who serve her ego, support her jaded opinions, and generally consider money more important than any other human endeavor.
It is, to put it bluntly, this is a daring enterprise. The film is complex and unforgiving, cast with people without devoid of any previous "movie pedigree." In this, everyone is believable as everyone they presume to be.
Film Critics looking through the lens of artistic rules and values may review this movie in a different light — I actually tried to avoid any other reviews of this movie in order to enjoy it from my own point of view — but I think they'll miss the point entirely. The movie, when viewed by a rational fan of movies (and not a critic), takes you to difficult, unflinching, and sometimes very awkward places. And if you've read my reviews before, you know I love awkward... I love the natural beats that take place between the places where people say or do something "naturally irrational" before seeing the results of that thought or action.
This movie pays rent in that place.
Chelsea is the main character of the film and her boyfriend (yes, she has a boyfriend who knows what she does) is named Chris, a physical trainer who actually comes across as a believable character beyond the realm of telling people to do more squats. Unfortunately, he also comes across as a big sissy in the end, when he can't even get out the words:
to the woman who has obviously been taking advantage of him.
I never have a good closing statement for movie reviews, so you're not going to get one here, either. If you like what I've said, go rent it.