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Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas

Studio: New Sensations » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/20/12

XCritic's Advice: Highly Recommended

Click for Trailer

Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas

New Sensations/Romance

Genre: Feature, Romance

The Extras

Director: Eddie Powell

Cast: Lexi Belle, Anthony Rosano, Dana DeArmond, Xander Corvus, Natasha Nice, Wolf Hudson, Alison Tyler, Ritchie Calhoun

Length: 108:17 minutes

Click for Teaser Trailer

Date of Production: 2012

Extras: The best extra was the 17:37 minute long Behind the Scenes feature (by Jacky St. James, the writer), including some interviews and clips as the crew made the movie. The 6:39 minutes of Bloopers was pretty cute too, followed by a photogallery, some trailers, spam for lingerie, and a “pick your pleasure” guide to types of sex acts. The movie also came in a slipcover that made it look like a book.

Condoms: Yes

Lexi Belle with Anthony

Audio/Video Quality: Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas was presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen as shot by director Eddie Powell for New Sensations. Due to the popularity among other reviewers here at Xcritic, I have not reviewed a lot of the various romance lines that have become popular of late, feeling compelled more to help promote the better such works from behind the scenes. I promised someone that I would look at this one since they felt it was one of their “best works to date” and wanted a more critical opinion. Thankfully, the technical values were very well done, the camera composition, lighting, and audio blended together very nicely. It was far from the most ambitious movie of the year in terms of budget, casting, or all the usual aspects people gauge a feature by but in terms of all the things that count, Eddie did another exceptional job here both in visual elements and the 2.0 Dolby Digital audio, just keep in mind that a company watermark was omnipresent on the lower right hand corner. One might find the breaking down of the fourth wall approach annoying (ask Woody Allen how many critics have fussed at him over the years) but given the theme of the show, it is clear that the director is on to something for providing couples entertainment value.

-- sponsored by --

Dana DeArmond with Xander

Body of Review: Eddie Powell has been a force in porn for some time now, initially contributing to make the works of others stand out and then growing in stature as a director for companies like New Sensations. That he made such an impression to be awarded Xcritic’s best director of the year speaks volumes in his favor, the man not generally accepted as a household name just yet as previous winners might claim. I was sent two of his works to review recently, the subject of this review being Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas, hailed by those behind the scenes as standing out on a number of levels as worthy of checking out. The movie is made with couples in mind but it should be noted that the use of condoms, the dialogue heavy feature elements, and the manner in which the sex was an essential element but not tacked on as in most such flicks helped make this work. The story concerns a marriage counselor and a bunch of whiny couples, the back and forth between the casts in verbal spats bringing a smile to the face of myself and gal pal watching this weekend. With ladies such as Lexi Belle, Alison Tyler, Natasha Nice, and Dana DeArmond, the stage was set for an amusing little look at life, none of the usual porn conventions cast completely aside but not focused on either. The back cover described the movie like this: “Marriage counselor, Dr. Paul Highland, is at his wits' end. After years of dealing with an endless array of other people's problems, Paul finds himself with a problem of his own. He no longer believes in love. That is until April, a beautiful bride to be, unwittingly seeks his advice. Sparks fly when an immovable object such as Paul Highland meets an unstoppable force such as April. How could two such opposing forces find a common ground? Can they? Or is this just another session in Dr. Highland's busy practice otherwise known as his life?” Here’s a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that condoms were used for those still interested:

Natasha Nice with Wolf

Scene One: Lexi Belle, a sexy blond who has long established her acting chops and sensuality as a sought after hotty, was up first as a shopping addict wearing a sleek red dress in the bedroom. She was arguing with Anthony Rosano, the two seeking counseling before she walked into the bedroom in some blue satin lingerie that looked great on her. The slower pace of the sexual tryst included kissing and caresses, Lexi’s perfect ass in the air as her thong crept ever so deeply between her cheeks. They showed a connection and she eased down his torso to slob his knob, applying some hand to gland combat to enhance the moment briefly before he gobbled her gash. That led to some active vaginal penetration positions, not the sexual Olympic type of sex you might see in gonzo but a more realistic series of acts that ended in him pulling off his rubber to jerk off his genetic juice on her corset. Frankly, aside from that act, it was very well thought out (any woman I’ve ever slept with would kill me for doing that, and I’ve known some that loved a glazed face!).

Alison Tyler with Ritchie

Scene Two: Dana DeArmond, the bitchy brunette seen on the right side of the front cover, was up next as a bossy control freak of a wife, the gal driving Xander Corvus up a wall with all her displays of attitude. While some might claim that was not her acting, I have to give her credit for playing to her strengths, the pair pulling over alongside the roadway where she initiated a liaison in the back seat of the SUV. She was down to her flowery bikini undies in no time, Xander working her small but all natural nipples with his mouth and hands. This was a very demure version of the extreme queen’s repertoire, the same slow pacing a stark contrast to most of her work I’m familiar with. He rubbed her pussy under her panties, the couple continuing to kiss until she used her foot on his pecker, the two going down on each other (though he gave more than her) before some active vaginal positions. Dana finished him off with her two hands, his splooge flying upward to her delight though she did not swallow the ball batter.

Scene Three: Natasha Nice, a curvy cutie in need of more sex, was up next enjoying a soothing soak in the bathtub, the suds strategically covering her breasts and other parts until Wolf Hudson, fully clothed, jumped in to initiate some sparks. They kissed and she crawled into his lap, the two all over each other like starved lovers needing release. In some ways, this scene appeared to mimic more generic porn action more closely than the other scenes but they pulled it off as a contrasting act. They gave each other head and were soon vaginally boning all over the bathroom like crazy, their levels of personal chemistry helping to make it work. She rubbed one out as he tapped her snatch, eventually busting a nut of population pudding all over her stomach.

Scene Four: Alison Tyler, a fetching lass with dark hair and wonderful curves, was up last with Ritchie Calhoun, his practice undergoing changes that mirrored those of his mental state of mind. She came prepared to please him and he savored the moment, the pair providing the best chemistry of the movie in terms of the smaller touches each of them displayed in the bar room ball. Their clothing came off achingly slowly, his eating out of her pussy longer than her own blowjob but not problematic given the sensual vaginal plowing that followed. I admit that I loved her fleshy ass (I have long preferred ladies built for comfort over speed) and while no fan of condoms, this one was obvious but not intrusive. He launched his load of spunk all over her stomach, again the pop shot too much like generic porn than a true romance line would (or should) provide.

Summary: Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas by director Eddie Powell for New Sensations was a winner for me on multiple levels. It is not meant to compete with gonzo productions, kinky fetish specialty flicks, or a wide array of other genres. There were some parody elements (but of life more than specific movies/shows) but this was a standalone movie written by Jacky St. James, the performers portraying their characters in credible fashion to elicit smiles and some laughter. For me, the movie was worthy of being rated as Highly Recommended, not so much for the hardcore raincoater crowd but for the much larger portion of the population that does not watch dozens of pornos a month. In terms of the acting, Xander and Ritchie stood out really well, as did Dana but the entire cast proved worth watching with some decent strokability and replay value. In short, Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas is the type of romantic feature that is setting the stage for other companies to be more inclusive to a broader audience, the feature aspects of the movie worth setting down the remote control for and the sexual trysts heated enough to keep the interest of guys like me.

You can email me with questions at Houstondon @ hotmail.com if you have any constructive criticism of the review too. :) Also you can follow me on twitter @HoustonDon

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