Monday, September 5, 2011

#395. One Hour Fantasy Girl (2009)

Directed By: Edgar Michael Bravo

Starring: Kelly-Ann Tursi, Jon Morgan Woodward, Joe Luckay

Tag line: "Everybody wants...Everybody needs...One Hour In Heaven"

Trivia:  Based on a true story

The opening sequence of One Hour Fantasy Girl is set in a motel room, where a pretty young woman, dressed only in her bra and panties, is standing at the foot of a bed, on which lies a large man in his underwear. Yet what appears to be the precursor for a sexual encounter between a prostitute and her John is, in reality, something else entirely. In fact, what goes down between them is much more disturbing. 

The young girl is Becky (Kely Ann Tursi), who hires herself out as a "Fantasy Girl” for one hour at a time. Going by the name “Brandi” when she's with her clients, Becky is not a prostitute; she won't engage in sexual activities of any kind, nor does she even allow kissing. Aside from that, anything goes. Her business partner, Chi (Paul Nguyen), sets up the encounters, and their best customer is a music producer named Roger (Jon Morgan Woodward, the man from the opening scene). Hoping to raise enough money to invest in real estate, Becky is nonetheless uncomfortable as a Fantasy Girl, and her fears for the future have been keeping her awake at night. Even as her client list grows, including a flighty young man named Bobby (Joe Luckay) and, of all things, a real estate salesman (John Buckley Gordon), Becky cannot escape the emptiness deep inside, nor the feeling that she lacks the strength of character to make her ultimate dreams come true. 

A troubled girl with a disturbing past, Becky comes across in One Hour Fantasy Girl as a lost soul in search of her place in the world, and believing she's a long way from finding it. She shows no enthusiasm whatsoever for the role of a Fantasy Girl, even when setting up appointments with potential clients (her first phone conversation with Bobby is very dry and matter-of-fact). Tursi delivers an exceptional performance as Becky, bringing just the right dose of sadness to the part. Through most of the film, her character remains an enigma; we're made aware of childhood traumas by way of a handful of disjointed flashbacks, as well as several conversations she has with Bobby, yet they're never fully explored. It's to Tursi's credit that she builds Becky into such a strong, likeable character while simultaneously remaining a mystery for the bulk of the film's running time. 

Director Edgar Michael Bravo weaves a fascinating story around this character, continuously circling the outermost reaches of her thoughts and motivations, with only the occasional step inward to reveal what lies under the surface. An engrossing portrayal of a young woman with no idea which way to turn, One Hour Fantasy Girl is a deeply moving experience.

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