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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 04.21.10] review news drama

Year: 2009
Director: Edgar Michael Bravo
Writer: Edgar Michael Bravo
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 7 out of 10

One could queue up Edgar Michael Bravo’s One Hour Fantasy Girl and Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience for viewing one after the other and find a page-long list of similarities between the two. They’re both stories of women working jobs on the outskirts of society and both are more interested in trying to unravel why the women choose those specific jobs rather than focusing on the actions themselves but I bring up the comparison for another reason. Though one is made but a highly acclaimed and respected director it’s the “true” indie film that shines through even if it doesn’t look as polished as Soderbergh’s experiment.

Bravo’s film stars Kelly-Ann Tursi as Becky Lewis (or Brandi as she’s known to customers) a girl with a troubled past. After years of abuse; she made her escape only to end up in the city with little money and big dreams of making a good life for herself. Tired and incapable of getting ahead, she takes a job as a fantasy girl, essentially playing the role of an escort without the sex. Becky doesn’t trust anyone but she has found some comfort in her business partner Chi, himself a musician looking to break into the industry and between the two of them, they have a good thing going: she works, he makes sure things don’t go wrong. And then Bobby appears. At first a harmless customer who seems lonely and inexperienced and simply looking company (during their first meeting they hold hands), he quickly breaks down Becky’s protective wall only to damage her further.

One Hour Fantasy Girl isn’t, as the title might suggest, a story about sex instead, it’s the tale of a woman lost and alone in the world. Becky is damaged, worn out by her past and one can’t blame her for her lack of trust: everyone she’s ever confided in has hurt her and she’s reluctant to let it happen again. Capturing Becky isn’t easy but Tursi steps up to the plate and does a formidable job of the role managing to walk the line of fragile damsel and strong woman with ease unfortunately, no one else manages to match her talents. The other central character in this story is Bobby and though Joe Luckay’s performance seems to fit the bill while he’s playing the shy-boy role but when the story shifts, he fails to shift with it and his performance is reminiscent of a bad high school play. It’s a good thing he’s only on screen for a few minutes but it’s nearly enough to wash away the strength of his earlier performance.

Besides Tursi’s performance, what I loved most about Bravo’s film is the way in which it captures Becky at her most vulnerable and beyond that, the moments of tenderness that resonate through the film. There’s one in particular, an intimate scene between Becky and Bobby, which is breathtakingly beautiful and lingers well past the moment when the relationship goes sour.

I really enjoyed One Hour Fantasy Girl and loved seeing Becky finally break the circle of fear that kept her shackled to a job that was getting her nowhere. Not the most uplifting tale of self determination but a memorable one.

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Anonymous (12 years ago) Reply

Joe Luckay was outstanding!! congrats on all of your success.



Anonymous (12 years ago) Reply

I have to disagree with the previous comment. Luckay is unfortunately an amateur, which shines through in his performance of Bobby. The kid needs to take a few more classes and learn how to live his character.

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