An Eternal Love (2010)
Major porn studio New Sensations has launched a line of films clearly aimed at women and couples - the Romance series. The promotional blurb sounds promising: “[The series] is focused solely on stories of sensuality and passion, romance and commitment, connection and devotion. Quite simply, Love Stories.” Given that extreme hardcore gonzo porn has become ubiquitous, the idea of a bit of romance has a lot of appeal. And love, it seems, is the last taboo in porn.
Thus, I looked forward to reviewing An Eternal Love, the first film in the series. Jaded porn viewer that I am, I found myself looking forward to a bit of mushy, girly romance for a change. Sadly, this film didn't quite meet my high expectations. Though well-made, it's a bit of a letdown on the emotional front.
An Eternal Love tells the simple story of Emily (Tori Black), a romance novel writer whose husband Brian (Rocco Reed) passed away two years previously. She still dreams of him and feels his presence all around her. She’s unable to let him go and move on with her life. She’s also suffering from writer’s block. Enter best friend Sasha (Lexi Belle) who invites friends Bobby and Tom around (Johnny Castle and Danny Mountain) to cheer her up. This being a porn film, sexy shenanigans ensue. Emily feels passion again but is haunted by her past (and, it seems, by her ghostly husband who likes to move things around). Torn, she finally decides to let Brian go… and subsequently gets it on with Tom. Cue the happily ever after.
It's a fairly simple plot that creates numerous opportunities for sex. Unfortunately there isn't any real attempt to develop the characters or create any realistic sense of emotion or love in this film. Everything seems teflon-coated; as a viewer I didn't really feel anything for the people involved or become involved in their connections. And while that shouldn't be an issue for a standard porn film, it is a problem when a movie is offering itself up as a romance. To use the lurid language of your average Mills and Boon: I wanted to be swept away by a torrid love affair, to feel the yearning and passion of the protagonists, to be taken out of my reality and given a glimpse of a lusty, beautiful, loving fantasy - one where the sex is hot but also meaningful. Alas, it was not to be.
Perhaps part of the problem is the acting which isn't fabulous. Tori Black and Lexi Belle try but they come across as superficial - or overdoing it. I found it hard to empathise with the female characters, especially as they're always skimpily-dressed and perfectly made-up. The guys are also fairly wooden but at least they're good looking. The whole thing is set in an impossibly huge Hollywood mansion, leaving me wondering what our young heroine is doing living there.
When it comes to the sex, things are fairly formulaic: hetero boy-girl pairings with the usual oral and three position changes. The cumshots are external but not on the face. The camera still focuses on the woman, often cutting the guy out of the shot. Still, there are some nice touches here and there - lots of kissing and eye contact do help to ramp up the sense of connection between the lovers. I found the scene between Lexi and Johnny Castle to be the best and hottest liaison; despite the clunky dialogue the sex sizzles with chemistry.
An Eternal Love certainly looks good. Shot in high definition on a RED camera, this movie sparkles with clarity and delights the eye. The sets look gorgeous, as do the actors. The music is a bit elevator-ish but does the job.
The DVD comes with a behind the scenes doco but unfortunately the guy shooting it ruins everything with creepy commentary so it's not very watchable.
Overall I think this film will appeal to those new to porn or viewers who enjoy standard hetero porn presented well. If you're after a deeper emotional connection... well, this certainly has more going for it than your average gonzo. Whether it meets the standards for romance is up to the viewer. I personally wanted more out of it.Still, I welcome the effort by New Sensations, who have created six films in the Romance series so far. It is nice to see someone making an attempt to create romantic porn. Perhaps they'll have more success with their other films.
Starring: Lexi Belle, Johnny Castle, Tori Black, Rocco Reed, Danny Mountain, Jasmine Delatori
You'll find an longer review of An Eternal Love at For The Girls.
Reviewed December 2010