The Escort (2015)

Minimal Spoilers

This is precisely what a romantic comedy should be. Instead of worthless manic-pixie dream girl archetypes that make absolutely no sense whatsoever, this film has a realistic and interesting female character who is arguably the most well-developed character in the film.

Independent, hardworking, and she has her life planned. In contrast to the main male lead, who can’t handle life and runs away from his problems. The film subtly brings up how neither of them are really all that different. The male lead having sex with other women through an app and the female lead getting paid for sex are very similar activities, one just gets paid and the other doesn’t. Why should simply getting paid for sex make a difference under the law?

To the credit of the film, they do tackle the issue seriously by having the two protagonists speak of the seriousness and loneliness associated in getting health check-ups for any sexually transmitted infections. The film acknowledges that sex addiction doesn’t actually exist, which modern research now backs up, and that the male lead just wants to run away from responsibilities in life.

A drawback of the film is that there is a bit of self-sabotage with the coherence of why the characters feel motivated to follow their respective fields. The female lead explains why becoming an escort has helped save her from her financial trouble and later the main character rebuffs that very idea. He wants her to “get serious” about why she chose to be an escort because a bad economy after a worldwide stock market crash in 2008 and having huge student loans aren’t real issues. This is a slap in the face to anyone suffering from student loan debt, including myself. I know I shouldn’t have been, but I felt personally insulted by such a statement. It really devalues the message and interest of the film. Another issue, she hired the male lead for protection but then her best friend rebuffs her by saying it was because she felt alone; despite the fact one of her clients did try to rape her. Moreover, the initial contact between the two didn’t seem realistic. Why would the female lead choose some guy that she had a terrible and awkward conversation with at a bar as her bodyguard instead of her best friend’s boyfriend or someone else she is more familiar with and who she knows would be comfortable with her profession?

Overall, I give the film a 9/10. I found it surprisingly enjoyable. I’d dismiss the negative reviews because I think, on average, it deserves at least a 7/10 and isn’t really different from any other romantic comedy.