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Birthday Party, The
Birthday Party, The
Studio: Greyart » Review by
Review Date: 11/1/09
Advice: Rent It
Director: Oren Cohen and Sasha Grey
Length: 1 hour, 21 minutes
Cast: Sasha Grey, Alyssa Reece, Madelyn Marie, Jessica Bangkok, Chris Johnson
Special Features: An 8-minute photo gallery and and 4.5-minute feature about Sasha's experience in New York while filming The Girlfriend Experience.
Let me tell you, Sasha looks super hot in skinny jeans, but this selection of features is pretty lame.
video is shot in widescreen letterbox format, with a lot of color tinting from scene to scene.
I expect a lot of Sasha Grey. And I expected a lot from The Birthday Party, since it marks one of Sasha's first cracks at directing (along with
Oren Cohen). Anyone who has watched Sasha Grey in action knows just how
dirty she can be, so my expectations for The Birthday Party were similar to the ones I had for Live In My Secrets,
a Kimberly Kane film with a gritty and somewhat terrifying trailer. I
expected something raw, something grimy, something dramatic and
What I got was something stereotypical dressed up as something unique.
The Birthday Party consists of four vignettes.The film is shot in widescreen, but for some implausible reason, is presented in letterbox. Each
scene begins with a little too much build up, usually in slow motion,
with fast and repetitive music over it. The scenes are altered in
terms of color, which is about the most innovative thing about the
film. But all the color tinting in the world can't make mediocre porn
The first scene begins with Sasha eating a cupcake. I didn't think I
could get sick of watching Sasha Grey consume a cupcake, but I did. It
just went on for too long.
Then a total bro of a guy, very fittingly named Chris Johnson, comes
into the picture. The rest of the scene takes place on the floor, on
plastic. This scene is tinted a greenish yellow, which makes skin look
rather sickly. Not much happens. Sasha moans "fuck" a lot, Chris says
"suck my cock" and "yes, fuck me" a couple times, his balls look hairy
in the gross light, and... that's about it. Sasha tosses out some of
her token dirty sayings, but Chris never reacts to them. Sasha is at
her best when she's feeding off the energy of her partner(s), and this
Chris dude gives nothing.
And as for Chris, I'm torn between wanting to see his face so I can
remember there is a person there (and not just a random cock) and not wanting to see him because he looks like a douche.
The second scene begins with a piņata, which is annoyingly never
broken, as Alyssa Reece moves quickly to spanking Madelyn Marie with
the lousy piņata stick. This scene, which is tinted orange (mmm,
fake tan color), can be summed up easily: they each use vibrators on
each other, sometimes at the same time, while moaning too much. And
Madelyn keeps biting her lip, as if to demonstrate how very sexy she
is. Way too fake-lesbian for me, and incredibly unimaginative.
Chris "No Personality" Johnson is back in scene three, getting it on
with Jessica Bangkok on a table decorated with a birthday tablecloth.
The hands-and-knees blowjob that Jessica gives Chris is decent, and the
lighting is finally a little more balanced (though still yellowy), but
the sex is just not good. Jessica's moans are repetitive, obnoxious,
and make me wonder if she moans "so deep!" to every guy she fucks. I
suppose if you enjoy the sound of dog toys squeaking, you will enjoy
Jessica's moaning. Really. It's bad.
I guess scene four is the high point. I don't really know. It
definitely has some of the hottest moments, but they come at a price.
This scene is a threesome between Sasha, Alyssa, and Jana Jordan. It
begins with the best build-up of the film, as the girls open a bottle
of champagne and spray each other with it, giggling all the while.
Cute, but as I dreaded, the giggles carry into the scene.
Alyssa and Jana just can't keep their mouths shut. These are the
kinds of girls who giggle and say "mmm" when nothing at all is
happening to them, girls who appear to be suddenly amidst orgasm the
moment a vibrator, tongue, or finger touches their clit. Thus, the
scene is overrun with fake moaning that is impossible to tune out.
And all I want to hear and see is Sasha. She looks scrumptious as hell,
with her hair all messy from the champagne. And hey, I never get sick
of watching her being pleasured and pleasuring others. Turn Alyssa and
Jana's voices off, and this would be a good scene.
The truth is, Sasha Grey herself is the only performer I genuinely enjoyed watching in The Birthday Party;
the rest of the stars were bland (Chris Johnson) or obnoxious (all the
other women). The birthday theme could've been developed much further,
making for some really unique scenarios (ā la Sasha and Kimberly's
"blood" scene in Live In My Secrets),
but it wasn't -- as though putting a birthday hat on someone's head and
handing them a cupcake is enough to set the tone. They could've at
least broken the piņata.
Perhaps if you go into The Birthday Party with no
expectations of greatness, it will seem like a decent porno. It
certainly isn't horrible, and is briefly enjoyable at several
junctures. But this is Sasha Grey we're talking about -- the queen of
hotness and raunchiness. And this film is severely lacking both hotness