Released: Apr 01st, 2004
Running Time: 67
Director: David Stanley
Company: Vivid Entertainment Group
Cast: Liquid, Lourdes, Trevor Zen, Ashley Blue, Eric Masterson, Agent Aeon, Lezley Zen, Evan Stone, Scott Fayner, Johnny Applestock, Brianna Banks, Victoria Woodhill
Critical Rating: AAAA 1/2
Love vs. lust vs. sex - something everyone can relate to!
After seeing Pretty Girl, the first thing we wanted to do was get on the phone to encourage someone at Vivid to enter this (video) feature in as many film festivals as they could find - it's just that good.
The story appears to be autobiographical, with Eric Masterson playing director David Stanley; Lezley Zen playing Trina, the girl he brings with him to L.A. as he's entering the adult video business; Brianna Banks playing Harmony Bliss, the porn actress he makes friends with on the set; and Ashley Blue playing ... Ashley Blue?
See, David/Eric is obsessed with Ashley, practically from the moment he takes off her gorilla mask after she's fainted on his set, so he contrives to fuck her. There's only one thing standing in his way: Chester, her boyfriend, played by Scott Fayner. Eventually, of course, he does - but it doesn't end there. Or rather, there are really three endings, a fact which serves to illustrate how schizophrenic the whole story is. But the important thing to know is, IT WORKS!
This hour-long monologue - almost no one speaks on-camera during the course of the feature - is a discourse on love in its various forms, and what relation love may have to porn, to lust and to sex in general. It's appropriate that we first viewed Pretty Girl on Valentine's Day, since the feature is itself a valentine, first to Ashley (it's dedicated to her), but also to the folks in porn who are trying to maintain personal relationships untouched by the industry.
While all the sex scenes are well done, they just don't drive us wild. The best is arguably the opener, with Lezley giving Eric a farewell fuck, doggie and side-saddle, on the living room couch. Brianna gets three of them, with Evan Stone giving her the best workout, including doggie, mish, reverse cowgirl and 69 before a splooge on her tits, and the finale, with Ashley and Eric, is decent, but does more to advance the plot than to raise trouser tents.
We may not be doing Pretty Girl any favors by comparing it favorably to Inserts, the best Hollywood film ever about the porn industry (admittedly circa 1935); so good, in fact, that it was roundly panned by critics. Pretty Girl is at least as good - and will probably suffer as much from critics whose only interest in porn is wham-bam. Kudos to Stanley, who gets an easy Best Screenplay pre-nom, one for Best Director, as well as a Best Non-Sex Performance nod for his top-notch narration; another pre-nom to Sonny Malone for a terrific editing that really helps tell the story - ditto to DNC for the excellent sound design - and the overall production as Best Video Feature.