Aroused - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Aroused Reviews

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April 12, 2017
A watchable documentary about the pron industry, with a photographer interviewing 16 different porn stars and photographing them, all of which plays out like most porn docs are known to do. Essentially there's the initial sex-positive vibe of it all, how they love sex and are exhibitionists, but we eventually get a few tears or a quavering voice about the industry, as it obviously has a dark side.

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.
½ August 2, 2015
It talked about exploration of sexuality and loss of sensuality. But I think the value of this documentary was that it had touched upon some of the dark side of the industry through a few first-person accounts. They 'admitted' that they are 'putting their lives on the line' or 'taking risk' because of the factors like drug, std, no protection, etc. And I'm still in shock after knowing 'vicodin' used by some girls on sets is in fact a strong pain killer ... My point is, these women are totally not stupid if they can give deep talk about sensuality , and demand for an 'equal playing field'. They are taking huge risk for something they think important for them, just like everyone else. Judge away.
January 19, 2015
I read a few of the reviews while I was watching this and a phrase that leapt out at me was "desperately feminist". While mostly a misguided sexist sentiment, there's a sort of truth to it too. Most of the reviews are very defensive of Deborah Anderson's execution of her exploration into the world of porn models. I wouldn't attack her for being pretentious or arrogant. Her perspective is represented in the film and it is a far cry from being objective... but few praised documentaries are. Some criticize the film even objectifies the models - and that's where I have separate myself from these other viewers. There's absolutely this primal disgust people have with the subject of pornography. It riles people up. This film discusses that and then we see the other side get extremely defensive about their own position. And sadly this is why nothing constructive about the subject material ever seems to take place. That aside, the documentary talks a little about the business. It is a business and it is managed very efficiently. It is a dying business as nudity has become so prevalent Miley Cyrus offers nudes of herself frequently - and piracy is making it an industry that cannot operate as widely as it has been. There's a good documentary in that exploration right there. But in this one, it's much more a coffee table discussion with 16 models and spliced together quickly. It's hard to get to know any particular model very well because they just don't have the screentime. Worse, towards the end, structure almost completely goes out the window as the models offering what some could call soapboxing takes over and becomes a 20 minute lecture of why civilians are more screwed up than them. It was disappointing to see the structure the film had otherwise just kind of melt away for a more ambiguous discussion about the dark side of the industry and the defensive hostility it arises. As this is a civil conversation, that darkness is not talked about in explicit detail, but then again TMZ openly reports on HIV outbreaks in porn and every time a porn model ends up involved in homicide or attempted homicide (War Machine nearly killing Christy Mack, anyone?) does the film need to get into it when we all know the story anyway? This "review" is already longer than any of my others because there's good discussions to be made both about this film and about its topic (Who remembers Belle Knox for example? She's still going to college and still receives death threats). Unfortunately, my friends make up the people that are immediately repulsed by openly discussing pornography, so things I express here I really can't express anywhere else... Which this documentary is kind of about, isn't it? Well played.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 12, 2014
Through a series of wide ranging interviews with 16 female adult film performers, the documentary "Aroused" provides a unique and perceptive look at the industry. The different answers help to destroy any preconceived notions the viewer might have had about who these women really are and the paths their lives have taken. As an added bonus, there is an interview with a talent agent who has some helpful hints.

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.
Super Reviewer
July 19, 2014
Some interesting, informative, and surprising revelations from porn stars smothered by a pretentious presentation. Director Deborah Anderson's monologues show an obnoxious arrogance and pompous self-importance over this project - hey lady, you take portraits of famous people, that's hardly on the same level of capturing the flag-raising at Iwo Jima. Her approach is even self-defeating: she wants to show how women in the adult industry are regular people and individuals, but by tightly focusing on a single body part (an eye, the lips, a hand) while cross-cutting interviews with sixteen subjects, it's impossible to sort out who exactly says what.

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.
½ June 14, 2014
This was a fairly interesting documentary of a photographer taking pictures of 16 women who work in the adult entertainment industry.
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.
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2014
Very interesting documentary about the women in the porn industry, while stripping away the porn star image, director Deborah Anderson interviews some of the most famous girls in the industry and what is uncovered is a revealing portrait behind each of these women. The way Anderson tackles her subject is terrific and the way these women tell their story shows us that these women are just not objects and are actually people. Some of the decisions they've made in regards to their career choices of joining the industry is to fulfill the need of being paid for sex, and it's a topic is recurrent through the film. Aroused does a great job at showing us a different side of these women who are some of the most popular in the industry. Porn is part of our culture, and it's also important to know that these performers are people, and despite the fact that they may be strong on camera, behind the camera, is a whole other story. Aroused gives us a very good insight into that, and it's a well rafted documentary, but one that is a bit too short, and I think it could have been a bit longer as well. The film feels rushed, but for the interview content that we do get, we get a unique look inside these performers lives, and it's truly engaging, intimate and ultimately unforgettable. I simply wished that Aroused would have been longer because this documentary really could have stood out. As it is, it's worth watching, but like I said, considering its subject, I feel it could have been longer and that Deborah Anderson could have gone a bit more in depth with her subject.
½ April 18, 2014
Really Good! Very informative and nice to see these women as women... Is it strange that I felt I related to them.. maybe i'm in the wrong business hahaha...
½ January 20, 2014
Deborah Anderson's pathetic attempt to humanize pornstars is unfathomably vapid and pretentious. Forced-artsy shots are apparently Anderson's speciality - if I ever saw more than one-fourth of the speaker's face I certainly can't recall. This brings to mind a significant problem: forgetability. Aroused is horrifically self-indulgent, desperately feminist, practically amnesia-inducing tripe. As sixteen pornstars undress and roll around naked on a king-size bed whilst giving "candid" interviews addressing how they are far more than pornstars who roll around naked on a king-size bed, the real agitation begins. Rather than being a compelling and clear-eyed look at feminine independence or worth - the documentary I hoped for - Aroused succeeds only at visibly discomforting the models as they, one by one, seem to come to the realization that being pornstars don't make them divine beings. There's a football field of difference between women revealing different sides of themselves and tackling intimacy in a different way for the camera; and women desperately claiming they're interesting and intelligent and not just a naked body, literally while being photographed as a naked body. If there was supposed to be some sort of post-modern irony associated with this paradoxical setting, I failed to appreciate it.
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.
½ January 5, 2014
Loved the videography!
½ October 27, 2013
Watched: 27 Oct 2013
May 31, 2013
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