When I was a kid, a popular movie for slumber parties was Angel—High School Honor Student by Day! Hollywood Hooker by Night! We watched rapt as our heroine in her Catholic schoolgirl skirt walked the streets, and later wielded a gun in revenge after someone had done her wrong. Curiously, You Are Alone is almost the same story, but without a bit of camp or irony. You Are Alone is actually an intimate drama between said schoolgirl/prostitute and a lonely neighbor who has discovered her identity.
Jessica Bohl plays Daphne (or Britney to her johns), a bored suburban teenager who starts hooking for kicks, after seeing the ease at which she could attract attention online—especially in her schoolgirl outfit. It’s easy money, but she’s not doing it because she needs the cash. She is just a jaded youth, trying to find the edge in her dull life.
Richard Brundage plays Buddy, her counterpart in what is essentially a two-person drama. Buddy is probably in his 30s, but seems much older, due to the sorrow he carries on his slumped shoulders. He has dark circles under his eyes, and looks like he spends his days crying (which he actually does spend his days doing, according to the various flashbacks). His woman is gone from his life, and he is unable to move on. When he spies his teen neighbor as the hired entertainment at a bachelor party, his initial disgust turns to curiosity, and maybe some longing. Perhaps Daphne, with her secret now shared between the two of them, can help heal Buddy’s pain somehow.
The premise of You Are Alone is interesting, and in the hands of stronger actors—and a less stagey screenplay—it should be compelling. But the stagey-ness is what bogs the film down. One character talks. The other responds. There is silence. Another drink is poured. One character says something candid, and retreats. Repeat.
You Are Alone, despite the situation (a john meeting a prostitute) is not sexy or erotic. It has the perfunctory emotional distance that I can only imagine is how most of these meetings are in real life. The intimacy happens through the conversation. The final scene, surprisingly turns out to the be strongest and most eye-opening of the film. But by then You Are Alone had already lost my attention, making me restless for this “date” between the characters and myself to end.