In Cookies Carmen (played well by Jace Nicole) is engaged in a variety of sex work: porn, web cams, and perhaps other activities in that arena. Pretty quickly we learn that Carmen has a child - story of the father is not told - and is seeking a "normal" guy (a guy who is not heavily into porn & the sex-for-money world I guess, or at least not into her because she is in porn) AND is cool with the way that she makes money. One of Carmen's close friends who is also in the same line of work does seem to have a "normal" boyfriend who supports what she does for a living. Without giving away details that would reveal how the story ends, we see Carmen deal with 2 potential partners in the course of the movie. And, Cookies distinguishes itself from most recent DIY movies about 20-30 somethings by bringing in Carmen's parents into the story.
Though sex work is the character's occupation, this is not a sexually explicit - at least not visually - movie.
One problem I had with the movie - I know reviewers are supposed to deal with what is actually on the screen, but, as it was the case for me I am sure it will be the case for at least a few others - was that if the central dilemma of the main character is finding a "nice" guy, why doesn't she quit the porn biz? I talked with a few audience members who saw Cookies with me at the Sexy International Film Festival this past Saturday about this issue and most of them were not concerned with that question. Some of them had filled in the missing information on their own as to why Carmen does not give up porn in order to find the "right" man. So perhaps this question would not get in the way of most people in their attempt to enjoy Cookies. I would have liked to see more details - how & why did Carmen get into sex work/porn biz? What exactly is keeping her from finding a job in another industry that is less controversial/would not be an obstacle towards building the desired romantic relationship? But, these questions that I had may be beside the point - since the film declares in the beginning that the character wants to both keep doing what she does for a living AND wants to find a guy who treats what she does as just another job (even though it isn't). I believe the film does succeed in creating a story that seems realistic for a character who has what I think is a relatively impossible goal. In the end, I would also have liked to have seen exactly how the path the character chose as the answer to her dilemma came together.
Holt & Nicole do succeed very well in creating an intriguing main character. Cookies captures Carmen during one very interesting period in her life, but it did seem that there is a lot more to the character, and that the character will live on outside the final scene - I guess what I mean is that the character seemed like a real person even though her goal & circumstances were unusual/not similar to people I know well.
One aspect of the movie that I did enjoy a lot is the "post-racial" nature of the film. Cookies reflects the ethnic diversity that one sees in New York City.
Being a huge fan of NYC, I also enjoyed the beautiful shots of the city - there are many in the film. One of my favorites being a lengthy shot at a park where Carmen & a new guy that she met can be heard talking on a date long before we see their exact place in the frame - the shot felt like a painting - in a positive way.
I believe there is the potential for a significant commercial life - lots of DVD sales, cable, maybe theatrical - for Cookies, since the movie is a very interesting character driven drama with a unique protagonist - portrayed well - and the film deals with sex as work & sex as a commodity. Also, it is possible that many audience members will sympathize with the lead character & will even be able to relate to her since - specifics of her dilemma aside - she is attempting to secure a unique outcome from a difficult situation - something many of us are engaged in, sometimes on a daily basis.
For people who enjoy art/indie/foreign movies and are excited about the filmmaking revolution that has been possible due to the use of digital video, and for those who appreciate seeing the multi-ethnic nature of the real world being reflected in cinema, Cookies & Cream is a must see.