"Finding Bliss" is a modestly entertaining film that, er, strips away the rougher edges of the porn business to reveal a fairly conventional romantic heart. Writer-director Julie Davis ("Amy's Orgasm") draws on her own early Hollywood experiences to tell the good-natured story of Jody Balaban (Leelee Sobieski), an aspiring, if romantically — and sexually — challenged young filmmaker who falls into an editing job at porn company Grind Productions, which serves to open her eyes and heart to the world around her. Predictable? Not always.
Jody may be an innocent, but she's shrewd and passionate about filmmaking. This fuels her brainstorm to secretly use the Grind facilities — as well as, ultimately, the company's eager actors — at night to shoot her own movie, a mainstream romantic comedy about a young woman holding onto her virginity. Jody's film's plot, of course, parallels her personal MO, which gets a rethink as she falls for Grind's star director Jeff Drake (Matthew Davis), a divorced hunk and former legit filmmaker. As written, Jody and Jeff make an unlikely couple, but Davis' rakishly seductive turn greatly ups the believability quotient.
The supporting players, including Kristen Johnston as Grind's wise production head, Denise Richards as Jody's movie's gentle leading lady and Jamie Kennedy as a sweet but dense porn actor, also deftly rise to the occasion.
"Finding Bliss." MPAA rating: R for strong sexual content including graphic dialogue and nudity, and for language. Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes. At Laemmle's Sunset 5, West Hollywood