The Escort is a romantic comedy starring Lyndsy Fonseca (Nikita, Agent Carter) and Michael Doneger, who is also a co-writer. However, it is not quite a conventional romantic comedy. Both lead characters have some relatively dramatic problems and their attempts to navigate them give the movie it’s comedy and appeal.
The film follows Mitch (Doneger), a writer who gets fired at the beginning of the film, for reasons relating to his problem. He goes on a job interview that doesn’t go very well, and this leads him to offer to write a story on spec, meaning the magazine can print it if they want, but aren’t obligated. This leads to Mitch meeting Natalie (Fonseca), a hooker who works at a hotel where Mitch is meeting a hookup. That gives him the idea to write an article about Natalie.
Natalie is a character that has some depth. This isn’t a fairy tale story. While the film is a romantic comedy, and thereby somewhat predictable, it isn’t your Julia Roberts story about a hooker and a john with a heart of gold. Natalie is a Stanford graduate and has her own business (even outside of being a sex worker) and throughout the film, she saves herself. She isn’t waiting for someone else to save her. She also is not a victim. She owns her career choices, and has logical reasons behind them. She isn’t concerned with Mitch’s opinions about her choices.
The film is smarter than most romantic comedies, and has some great supporting characters played by actors such as Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice), who add quirkiness to the film. The narrative does follow the generally accepted romantic comedy formula, hitting all the beats the audience has come to expect, but it does it well, and it doesn’t make them seem contrived.
Mitch has a younger sister, played wonderfully by Rachel Resheff, and the interaction between Natalie and Emily brings a lot of heart to the story. Emily acts as somewhat of a catalyst for Natalie to fix some of her regrets in her past, leading to endearing, yet hilarious, results. Emily also has some personal issues that are demonstrative of Mitch’s larger family problems.
The movie has some trouble in developing the relationships between Mitch and his friend, JP, played by Tommy Dewey, who seems to have no purpose other to criticize Mitch, as if to explain the problems Mitch is facing to the audience. Throughout the film, it is unclear why Mitch would continue to be friends with him. Dewey does a fine job with his performance, but the character is very one-note and annoying.
The movie has great performances and is entertaining and uplifting. It is definitely worth watching. The Escort is available on DVD, as well as Amazon Instant Video and iTunes.
Follow @Music_IntheDark on Twitter