Documentary review – HOT GIRLS WANTED

The Rashida Jones-produced documentary about the uncomfortable side of amateur porn is painful from beginning to end.

Who hasn’t seen porn? Be honest to yourself. Even if it’s for curiosity you clicked on the thumbnail that had that naked girl. But who worries about the girl?

There’s not enough people who cares about the girl fucked on camera. No one concerns about what happens behind the scenes. Directors Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus, and producer Rashida Jones are here to give you a glimpse at the uncomfortable side of amateur porn. Hot Girls Wanted (Official Sundance selection, streaming on Netflix right now) explores the life of several young girls that work in the porn industry.

Hot Girls Wanted features the life of a group of 18-19 year-old-girls recluted by a manager via Craiglist to work in the amateur porn business.  Gradus and Bauer’s work is more focused on the life of Tressa who flies to Miami to become a pornstar. That requires her to create a Twitter account with a pornstar name, market herself via social media and try her best to be successful in the porn industry in less than a year – because if that doesn’t happen the producers won’t see any future in her. Outside of porn, Tressa must deal with the fact that her parents must not know what she does for a living and handle a relationship with a boyfriend who hates her job. While Tressa doesn’t share the exact same story with the other girls living with the manager, they are in Miami for the same reason and they have to go through the same process to reach a bit of fame.

They enjoy being pornstars, they love the money and the fact they don’t have to work behind a desk to get it. However, Hot Girls Wanted becomes almost mortificating. The first minutes are some of the girls convincing themselves how much they enjoy what they do for a living, while the last minutes show them struggling with the decision they made. The documentary morphes from a informative piece to a view to the difficulties outside of the porn world and handling a double life.

What’s good about Rashida Jones’ production is how grey it is. Hot Girls Wanted never truly focuses on the black or white side of the porn industry. The fact that there’s exploitation is nothing new and everybody knows it. But have you seen how it is? The documentary shows the girls enjoying their life as pro-amateur (paid amateur) porn actresses, but it also contains scenes where these girls struggle. It’s a peek to the sad side of pro-amateur porn and Hot Girls Wanted connects you a bit more to the reality of these people.

It’s nice how Hot Girls Wanted is not anti-porn and how it doesn’t feel like conservative sex-ed. This is more like a reminder that exploitation exists, that the actresses who are not very popular in the business sometimes handle a stressful life and these girls do not receive great protection from the people involved in the industry. You should see it.


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