Why is it that Kat Ellis plunks down $6,000 to hire a gorgeous gigolo to escort her to her sister’s wedding? Oh, all the stereotypical reasons, really. Her ex will be there, and she wants to make him jealous. Her mother will be there, and she wants to make her think she’s happy. And, of course, her sister will be there, and she wants to make sure the happy bride doesn’t get all the attention.
So, off Kat and Nick fly to London to strut for her family and friends. How long do you think it takes for the facade to wear thin, the masks to come off, the gloves to come out and the tears to flow? Mere minutes.
Kat’s stepdad tells the truth when he confides that you don’t stop worrying about your kids or wishing the best for them just because they get older. Nick assures the groom-to-be that he’s done the right thing by refusing to have sex with a stripper at his bachelor party, telling him that men who are in love don’t want prostitutes. And Kat assails her sister for sleeping around—specifically with Kat’s ex—and then deciding to get married without telling her beau about her past.
It’s shown that lies, backbiting and jealousy can foul up a family, and that the only remedy is truth and forgiveness. (Sadly, the instantly jolly result of the film’s quick-fix variety of truth-telling is so unrealistic and trite it all but ruins the lesson.)
Clearly, a movie about a male escort is going to have a sexual component. And probably, the girl he’s with will, at some point, have sex with him. The only real question is whether or not she’ll have to pay extra for the privilege.
Indeed, Kat and Nick toss and tumble in the sheets after Kat gets drunk at a bachelorette party. When she first meets Nick, Kat coolly informs him that she’s only hired him to pose as her date, not to sleep with her. “I find the idea of sex for money morally repugnant,” she says. Hours later, she’s frantically pulling cash from an ATM to get him into bed with her. Entwined legs and torsos fill the screen with skin, then the camera withdraws before the action gets more graphic. (The side of Kat’s breast is briefly seen before that happens, though, while Maroon 5 croons in the background, “I know I don’t know you/But I want you so bad.”)
The first night Kat and Nick spend together at Kat’s mother’s house, he blithely undresses in front of her and heads for the shower. When he gets out he exposes himself to her while he dries off. (She gasps, as if in awe; audiences see his bare backside for quite some time.) Later, while she’s showering he throws open the curtain; she spins around to face the camera clutching her breasts in her hands. Trying to get her ex to notice her, Kat struts her stuff at a cricket game, pouring water down her front, unbuttoning her blouse, etc.
Strippers make a brief (clothed) appearance at the bachelor party. Women wear short skirts and low-cut tops. Standing in front of his apartment window, a man flashes a woman in an apartment across the street. Conversation is often steered toward sexual topics including “shagging,” “quickies,” bondage, orgasms, erections, makeup sex and oral sex. Some of the related jokes are rather crass. The story line includes multiple references to infidelity.
Kat stomps on Nick’s foot after he trips her while dancing. Angry that another man slept with his girlfriend, the groom chases him out of the church and into a field.
Four or five s-words mingle with British vulgarities and profanities “bloody,” “shag,” “b-llocks” and “b-gger.” Crude sexual slang is used. God’s name is abused a dozen times; Jesus’ twice.
One of Kat’s friends smokes. Everybody drinks—heavily. Bachelor and bachelorette parties (during which most attendees go from tipsy to totaled) are only the beginning, with wine, beer and hard liquor appearing in a majority of scenes.
Kat quips that she’s not so depressed that a “bottle of Jack and a straight razor” couldn’t fix her up.
What is it about gushy movies about prostitutes? Are all guys attracted to street-weary “pretty women”? Do women go goo-goo over GQ gigolos? If alien anthropologists were studying our culture by watching our movies, they’d certainly come to that conclusion. And they would marvel over how easy it is for Kat to dislocate her brain from her body and her soul, and forget that the arm she’s holding onto is connected to a man who makes his living by telling women exactly what they want to hear—and doing to them exactly what they want done.
If you can manage to overlook the downsides of Nick’s ancient vocation, the physical intimacy he shares with Kat, their deceit, drunkenness and foul banter, you might find yourself actually enjoying the connection that develops between them. But, quite frankly, that’s too much to ask.