Director: Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus
Running Time: 82 mins
Hot Girls Wanted is an American documentary about the stories of young women working in pornography, and the ever-increasing concerns towards the nature and pervasiveness of the industry in a modern, digital society.
Billed in part as a fly-on-the-wall documentary and in part as an exposé on the darkest depths of the adult film industry, Hot Girls Wanted certainly features an interesting and eye-opening look into an uncomfortable and morally murky world, and although it features some striking and unique ideas that may surprise you, its role as a hard-hitting revelation of the nastiest secrets of the industry doesn’t quite hit home so strongly.
As a result, Hot Girls Wanted isn’t the strongest or most enthralling documentary you’ll come across, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely without value. While it doesn’t quite hit as hard as it clearly aims to, it’s a film that does occasionally offer up some interesting and thought-provoking ideas about an industry that at times seems like a total pit of bleakness.
For the most part, the film presents work and practices in the adult film industry as you would expect, with an unsettling and often rather upsetting look at how young women just trying to get a good start in the world are used, exploited and even abused for the morally bankrupt entertainment of millions.
In that, there are times when the film does admittedly hit rather hard, as it show clips from and features explanations of very dark examples of adult film, but in terms of its overarching approach to and criticism of the industry, there isn’t all that much that would differ from your average perspective.
However, where that changes is when we hear the opinions of some of the women working in the industry, and while some line up entirely with the film’s main agenda, others present an interesting and thought-provoking perspective on their profession, arguing that by performing in pretend versions of scenes of abuse, they are perhaps preventing viewers from going out and doing that in the real world.
It’s an interesting idea and one that deserves a lot of attention, because it gives a good explanation as to why something that seems so morally bankrupt is so pervasive and well-supported in society. As a documentary, Hot Girls Wanted doesn’t quite give it the attention it perhaps merits, occasionally pushing back a little too hard with its own persuasive agenda instead.
As a result, while there is interesting and unique discourse on display, the film’s most different idea gets a little lost by the wayside, which is a shame to see when the majority of the movie isn’t quite the grand, hard-hitting exposé it often aims to be, and that’s why I’m giving Hot Girls Wanted a 7.1 overall.