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The Client List features a great performance by Jennifer Love Hewitt and a whole lot of prurient guilty pleasure. It's a perfect chick popcorn film--and because of The Client List's subject matter, more than a few men will enjoy it too. The Client List is based on a true story, which manages to give Hewitt's character, Samantha, some sympathy amid the silliness. Samantha is a former Texas homecoming queen, the purtiest girl in her small hometown, who wed Rex (Teddy Sears), a former high-school football star. And Samantha's mama, Cassie, is played by Cybill Shepherd in a very canny and welcome supporting role.
The Client List opens with Samantha and Rex facing some serious financial hardships in the recession, with three small children to support and Rex's inability to work (which is never really explained). As the financial noose threatens to tighten around this all-American family, Samantha decides her only solution is to take a job at the local massage parlor. Yes, that kind of massage parlor. It's never quite clear why Samantha doesn't consider barista, say, or cashier instead of prostitute as her recession career, but that's part of the fun of The Client List. When the police crack down, as they eventually always do, Samantha must weigh turning in the client list of the title--which could change the landscape of her small town forever. Hewitt really does give a good performance; she's lovely and even believable in the sometimes-absurd plot. The Client List may not win awards, but it's absolutely compelling and thoroughly enjoyable watching. --A.T. Hurley