Movies About Sex Work That Don't Sugarcoat Anything

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

A highlight of 1990s indie filmmaking, this Gus Van Sant drama follows narcoleptic hustler Mike (River Phoenix in one of the best roles of his too-short life) in a journey from Portland to Idaho to Rome with fellow hustler Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves).

The film is a very loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, and Reeves believed in Van Sant’s script so much that he rode over 1,300 miles by motorcycle to convince Phoenix to make the movie with him. Its one of the most even-handed movies prostitution to focus on men.

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