I mean, I hate to sound dismissive about it, but this is literally the story every time, and I just can't get worked up over this stuff playing out as it has for the past 40 years in every other behind the scenes look we've had. For every one gal who does porn and then moves on, there's the person who has it ruin their lives and that seems to be just the nature of the business.
It's a very middle of the road film, filled with no real surprises. You kinda know of this is your thing or not, so proceed accordingly.
Final thought: This documentary is a good conversation piece to have with someone or if you are just interested in the topic. It will not change your minds and it will not enlighten you either. For that, three stars, but an overall positive review.
Granted, framing this around a nude glamor photoshoot might seem a bit odd at first, but here it works in a documentary that is as much as about deglamorizing pornography as anything else.
Despite this, certain distinct personalities emerge, with Asphyxia Noir, Misty Stone, Allie Haze, Katsuni, and Alexis Texas distinguishing themselves. The mood is predominantly positive, many of the women obviously enjoy what they do, and there are surprisingly few sob stories. I rather suspect that's a function of the nature of the interview as the women are asked questions while sitting in the makeup chair getting ready for a sexy photoshoot - you aren't going to want to upset your subjects then, right? The more pointed interview with a talent agent paints a bleaker picture.
The 16 women talk about how they got into the industry, the ups and downs and some personal thoughts while they get makeup done and have nude photos taken.
Perhaps the worst drivel perpetuating this documentary is the bold proclamations defying the objectification of women. As if claims of literature and finances weren't enough, now women chastise the viewer and complain about how they are objectified. Too many drugs, not enough schooling, or a devilish hybrid of the two must be the culprit here, as none of the 16 women seem to realize that the definition of being a pornstar - whatever faux-cultured cases they make for themselves - is becoming an object of sexual gratification for the camera. Women - AND men - are on the set not to revolutionize art, not to lead an enlightening movement, but to have sex entirely based on what the yahoo users are watching that week. Porn is a cold business, and once someone surrenders themselves to prostitution (oh, but with a camera) I utterly fail to recognize how a woman can have the audacity to demand respect from the same people who pleasure themselves to a two-minute gonzo hammering of her body parts, close the laptop and flip on the light. Anderson's overly sympathetic treatment of the girls is aggravating as well. The ending features herself "bravely" posing naked in front of the camera. Being proud of one's body is excellent, but the disconnect between what these confused girls claim and what Deborah Anderson was apparently trying to reveal is as evident as a bullet to the head.