A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
"This Girl's Life" is an imperfect movie with so many moments of truth that you forgive its stumbles. You also note that it's probably of historical value, because it centers on the first performance of an actress who is going to be a big star. Juliette Marquis, Ukrainian-born, Chicago-raised, is a great beauty, yes, but beauty is not hard to find in the movies. What she has is courage and an uncanny screen presence. She spends a lot of the movie talking directly to the audience, and she looks at the camera clear-eyed and calmly confident, and we feel she is ... there.
She plays a porn star named Moon, about 23 years old, who works for a Web site that trains cameras on her house 24 hours a day. Whatever happens there, subscribers see. A lot happens (although she seems to be away from home for most of the movie). Moon went into porn with her eyes open, eagerly. She likes sex, and likes bold and risky situations, and she's articulate about her motives and feelings. There's a scene where she talks straight to the camera while ... well, while otherwise engaged, and her focus never wavers.
She's a porn star, but "This Girl's Life" isn't a porn movie. We get a lot of R-rated nudity and dialogue, but the story isn't about sex, it's about the complications of Moon's life. She's worried about her father, Pops (James Woods), who has Parkinson's. She cares for him, races home when he needs her, worries about him. She's frightened by an AIDS scare in the industry. She is also conflicted about a guy, a blind date named Kip (Kip Pardue), who didn't know she is a porn star and doesn't know if he's all right with that.
The movie surrounds her with friends, including the real porn star Cheyenne Silver, playing herself. They get together for a birthday party for Pops, which I think he enjoys, although Woods is good at showing a man disappearing into the sadness of his disease. A few days later, one of her friends confides that her boyfriend has proposed. Before the friend says yes, she wants Moon to do her a favor: Test him out. See if she can seduce him. If she can, the would-be bride will know he's not the faithful type.