Sad Sex Documentaries That Make You Lust For Haunted Cars
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious:
SADLY My Granny the Escort was not a magical fantasy film in which a young boy discovers his dead nan’s spirit has been retained in the family’s old Ford. Instead, Charlie Russell’s documentary followed three older prostitutes, aged 57, 64 and 84 as they made their way at the elder end of the oldest profession. Sheila, the 84-year-old, gave Russell’s show its news hook; in 2010 she found herself splashed across the front page of the News of the World thanks to the more embarrassing revelation that she’s X Factor contestant Katie Waissel’s grandmother.
Russell found himself viewing Sheila’s homemade sex tape, being informed of how she uses her adapted bathroom for water sports and discovering used condoms in her fridge. Elsewhere, 57-year-old Sophie seemed to think she would be able to conceal her identity with the tiniest mask possible. Perhaps she tells the neighbours the queue of men at her door is a series of plumbers attempting to fix a particularly banjaxed boiler. They’re not getting the best deal though. 64-year-old Bev, the final member of the trio, throws a cup of tea in for no extra charge.
All three women professed to love their jobs having taken up having sex for money later in life but there was no escaping how bleak their situations seemed. I thought my eyes were going to roll right out of my head when one man who has visited mature escorts hundreds of times proudly declared himself to be a romantic. Spotting a pink dildo perched on Bev’s kitchen counter, colour-coordinated with the microwave, was admittedly hilarious but hearing how the three women had become estranged from their families was far from funny.
Other reviewers have towed the line that My Granny the Escort forces us to question our prejudices about sex and ageing but however gentle Russell’s treatment of the subject was, the fact remained that he had chosen to point his camera at this scene. The title is a sign of the underlying impetus for this commission: yet another freak show from a channel that’s filled its schedules with similarly side-eyed takes on sexual subjects for years.
No matter how open-minded you pretend to be, hearing an 84-year-old woman recount how desperate she is to recover from major intestinal surgery so she can get back on the game is shocking. Many older people are lonely and crave companionship but this was a sad and unsettling means of solving that ache. The only thing more depressing than the women’s lives were the words of the punters, particularly the man who compared his visits to expensive elderly working women with saving up for Christmas. It’d probably be best not to investigate what’s underneath his tree.