The Center of the World

May 18th, 2001


The Center of the World

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A couple checks into a suite in Las Vegas. In flashbacks we see that he's a computer whiz on the verge of becoming a millionaire...

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 5.9/10 (3,101 voted)

Critic's Score: 44/100

Director: Wayne Wang

Stars: Shane Edelman, Balthazar Getty, Molly Parker

A couple checks into a suite in Las Vegas. In flashbacks we see that he's a computer whiz on the verge of becoming a millionaire, she's a lap dancer at a club. He's depressed, withdrawing from work, missing meetings with investors. He wants a connection, so he offers her $10,000 to spend three nights with him in Vegas, and she accepts with conditions: four hours per night of erotic play, and no penetration. During the days in Vegas, they get to know each other, have fun, meet a friend of hers; at night, at least after the first night, things seem to get complicated. Is mutual attraction stirring? Will they play by their rules? Can it be about more than money?

Writers: Wayne Wang, Miranda July

Shane Edelman - Porter
Peter Sarsgaard - Richard Longman
Molly Parker - Florence
Karry Brown - Lap Dancer
Alisha Klass - Pandora Stripper
Mel Gorham - Roxanne
Lisa Newlan - Porn Site Woman
Jason McCabe - Pete (as Jason Mccabe Calacanis)
Travis Miljan - Dog Owner
Jerry Sherman - Old Man
Carla Gugino - Jerri
Pat Morita - Taxi Driver
Balthazar Getty - Brian Pivano
Robert Lefkowitz - Motel Manager
John Lombardo - Gondolier

Release Date: 18 May 2001

Filming Locations: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Opening Weekend: $67,809 (USA) (22 April 2001) (7 Screens)

Gross: $1,096,037 (USA) (15 July 2001)

Technical Specs


Crew or equipment visible: When Jerri is yelling at Florence in the hotel room, the crew and equipment are reflected in the mirror.

Florence: What did you think? That I was falling in love with you?

User Review

Filmic Art in Digital


To the best of my knowledge "The Center of the World" was shot on a digital camera. If this is the case, then that was a very wise choice for the material and tone of the same. "The Center of the World" is an intellectual adult's version of "Pretty Woman" (although, I couldn't help but notice a few similarities to Egoyam's "Exotica"). On the most basic level is where we leave "Pretty Woman", however. This film is definitely not for all tastes, but that would be a loss for those folks. "The Center of the World" has a lot to say about human sexuality, loneliness, and money and the simple link between them in this modern-age. It's about the loss of human contact and connection between people in the same room; it's about perception and misjudgment. Additionally, there's a very primal ritual running through the sex scenes in this film that speaks volumes about human evolution versus technological evolution. There's a lot here and I don't want to ruin it for anyone by continuing my rant.


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