This Girl's Life (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Scoop's comments in white:

This is a strange project. It is a pseudo-documentary about the internet's first great porn star, who lives in a house full of web cams, and participates in a situation which is a hybrid of standard cam-whore entertainment and reality TV. She talks to the camera for a good portion of the film's running time. This role is played by an unknown actress, and her best friend and sometime co-star is played by real-life porn star Cheyenne Silver, as herself.

Sounds like a no-budget independent film, right?

Kinda right. It has that look and feel, and was actually made for Showtime, yet those obscure actresses are working with some extremely impressive people like James Woods and Ioan Gruffudd, as well as some dependable back-up actors like Michael Rapaport, Tomas Arana, and Rosario Dawson.

The script employs that cast effectively in a drama based almost completely on characterization. The film portrays the fledgling porn star as a person with a complex psychology. She was the smartest girl in her school. She takes care of her dad, who has Parkinson's Disease. She is open and frank about her sexuality. She is able to charm anyone into or out of anything. It's just as hard for her to find a nice guy as it is for the rest of the women in the world, probably even harder, since her latest boyfriend doesn't really know if he wants to think about a rosy future with a porn queen.

The plot is minimal and the action episodic. The key dramatic crisis is her impending decision to renew her contract. In the course of making that decision, she has an AIDS scare, her dad's condition deteriorates, and she stumbles upon a lucrative alternative career opportunity, as a "sexual investigator" - someone willing to hire out to test boyfriends or husbands for faithfulness. Of course, she must consider that this job could actually be riskier than porn, as she finds out when a "busted" man finds out who she is and where she lives.

On the one hand, this film is extremely well acted by the experienced stars and newcomer Juliette Marquis in the lead. On the other hand, those actors are performing in a production which basically contains the production values of a home movie. It is possible to argue that the home movie ambiance is basically a nifty piece of artifice which makes the "documentary" seem more real. There is some truth to that, but the amateurish production values can also be distracting. I watched this without ever getting convinced by it or absorbed into the story. I kept wondering if James Woods knew that he was giving one of the best and most difficult performances of his career in a glorified home movie.

Although the film itself is a mixture of strong positives and negatives, most reviewers remarked that the screen debut of Juliette Marquis should mark the beginning of a tremendous career. She certainly has the looks for it. She seems like a bustier version of Milla Jovovich, or maybe like a gene splice between Milla and Angelina Jolie. Like Milla, Juliette was born in the Ukraine and emigrated to the States as a child. Unlike Milla, Juliette is actually Ukrainian. (Milla's mother is Russian, her father Serbian). If the star-makers are correct, This Girl's Life could be your chance to see a future star in the formative stages. If you want to pass on this one and see her follow-up effort in something more traditional, Juliette's next screen role will be as a tattooed tough-talkin' goalie in an ice hockey comedy called Chicks With Sticks.

I didn't make that up.

Perhaps in ten years we will look back on This Girl's Life in the same way that we now look back on Cyborg 2, Angelina Jolie's first real film role, and her first screen nudity. One thing is certain. If Juliette does become a superstar, we won't have to wonder what she looks like naked, because she flashed it all right here, and even did a lesbian sex scene with a bona fide porn star.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

This Girl's Life is a slice of life film about the life and times of Moon, porn goddess. She went into porn with her eyes wide open, and has become a superstar, but several things make her think twice about renewing her contract.

  • She has a new boyfriend who has trouble with her career choice.
  • Her father (played brilliantly by James Woods) is sinking into Parkinson's disease, and requires more and more of her time.
  • There is an AIDS scare in the adult film community.
  • When her girlfriend asks her to hit on the man who has proposed to her to see if he would cheat (he would), she thinks she has found a fun new career, until one of the men she nails with her sting operation doesn't take the loss of his wife and child very well.

Moon is played by newcomer Juliette Marquis, and unless she makes some poor role choices, she will become a huge star, because this girl can act. Most critics were impressed by Marquis and James Woods, but found the film unfocused and lacking in plot. I agree with those criticisms, but still found it worth the watch, primarily because of Juliette's ability.



  • interviews with Rosario Dawson and Juliette Marquis



  • Juliette Marquis shows breasts, bum, and pubes.
  • Cheyenne Silver shows everything, including genitalia.
  • Sung Hi Lee shows her breasts very briefly
  • Several men show the full (soft) monty

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

  • made for cable TV
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C. There is really no genre to fit it into. It is a film with some strong positives, offset by some weak production values and a rambling, unfocused, episodic script (all of which may have been intentional techniques to enhance the cinema verité feel of the film.)

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