In the Company of Women movie poster
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In the Company of Women
In the Company of Women movie poster

In the Company of Women Movie Review

In a prolonged scene in the middle of the drama In the Company of Women, a male escort goes on a chauvinistic rant of sorts as he hits on three beautiful young women. Two of the women eat his words up, actively fawning over the guy (played by writer Shogi Silver, brother to director Kahlil Silver), and in this drawn out moment it became clear: this movie, about navigating modern love/sex, is as offensive as it is to men as it is to women.

In the Company of Women is about an old dude named Peter (Paul Eenhorn) who hires a dashing male escort (Silver) to be his wingman for the night as he ventures into the world of women following what was clearly, despite the filmmakers’ attempts to keep mysterious, a mourning period over the death of his wife.

Peter and the escort, unnamed for unnecessary reasons, have absolutely no chemistry together. Peter is a limp noodle, a soft-spoken Aussie professor who seems so desperate for attention that he is willing to pay $5,000 to hang out with a guy who seems to actively despise him. Or, more kindly put, is one of the most unpleasant protagonists ever put to screen.

Silver’s Escort is a truly awful human being. Why would Peter, even in despair, want to hang out with him? And why do the Silver brothers think we want to sit through a 90-minute movie where this guy talks about how shallow women are; how uninterested they are in men for anything more than looks, money, and lust; and how much of a loser he thinks his older counterpart is.

The Escort has his own troubled past that he is trying to reckon with, but the attempts to redeem the character through random flashbacks are pitiful at best. He’s an excruciating and insultingly terrible character.

It doesn’t help that the movie appears to not be set in reality. While I typically don’t go out of my way to watch, let alone disparage, indie films that have sat on the shelf for six years (according to IMDB), In the Company of Women was marketed to me, a Seattle critic, as a Seattle-made film.

I met my wife in 2014, in Seattle, around the same time this movie was presumably being made, and was single and dating for a long while before that. Everyone’s dating experiences are different, but I can categorically say that this movie is one of the poorest depictions of single-and-mingling I’ve ever seen. The film is incredibly insulting to women in that its portrayal of women--most notably those two girls in the bar mindlessly oohing and aahing over a chauvinistic tirade is just so nauseatingly dumb--while its messages to men are equally offputting and unrealistic.

Oddly enough, the movie has its chance to redeem itself. For a moment, it flirts with the possibility that Peter would spend a portion of his evening with Abbey (Clare O’Connor), the third “young women” of the trio who is actually written as if she’s a real person. Had Shogi written himself out of the rest of the movie and focused on Peter and Clare discussing and debating monogamy… well, it wouldn’t have been great cinema, but it would have been something. 

The Silver brothers attempt to wrap their spiteful story up in a nice, colored bow, but it’s clear they felt they had a much stronger story, with more likable characters, on their hands. In the Company of Women is an unsavory experience, which is quite the opposite of what the title suggests.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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