Sometimes you just throw on a random movie while riding the bike on the gym and are pleasantly surprised. Such is the case with the 2015 release, The Escort. Yes, the name automatically gives this film an air of an American Pie: Beta House vibe, but The Escort does elevate itself above that line of insensitive demarcation.
The movie stares Lyndsy Fonseca as Natalie, a down-trodden Stanford graduate who must resort to a life many would not choose to go towards. The plot flows into motion when Michael Doneger, a sex-addicted, nonchalant writer by the name of Mitch, follows Natalie for a feature piece in an attempt to get a new job.
So begins the oh-to-classic tale of two unbecoming and seemingly incompatible people beginning to fall for one another. Admittedly, The Escort does have those classic moments of awkward, will-they-won’t-they, moments. The classic romantic comedy timeline of an intimate moment, followed by personal doubt and distrust, and climaxing in a resolution; The Escort does do all those things, but still it manages to get just above the Mendoza line of average, forgettable “chick flicks”.
Some may recognize Fonseca from her work in Hot Tub Time Machine and Kick Ass (let us ignore Kick Ass 2). She is the reason that The Escort works. Her unique character design and backstory makes her a bit more textured and flawed than some classic female romantic leads. She brings forth some raw emotion that is surprising at times, which may be due in large part to the somewhat super awful persona of Mitch.
Poor Doneger…he had only appeared in one movie before The Escort, and I think it shows a bit. While the writing of Mitch does not appear as well thought out as Natalie, I was at the end of the movie hoping that the supposedly main male sympathetic figure ended up alone.
What makes this more ridiculous is the fact that this is a story developed by Doneger and partially written by him! He wrote the movie with Brandon A. Cohen; it both he and Donger’s first writing effort.
I am just finding this out now…as I am writing this…and trying to process how the writer seems to have a lesser touch with his own character compared to his co-start. Baffling.
Would I recommend The Escort to those who want a rousing emotional experience? No I would not. But did The Escort exceed expectations? That I cannot deny.
STANKO RATING: C+