I hate to be this person, but there’s very little I can say about New Sensations’ Romance title Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas (2012) other than – loved it!!
(pictured: bad idea..?)
The plot is familiar – just as a guy falls out of love with love, love walks through his door…
Marriage counselor, Dr. Paul Highland [Richie Calhoun], 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 [Alison Tyler], 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?
And the trailer isn’t even cute enough:
As Dr. Paul, Richie Calhoun is the perfect frazzled therapist dealing with three uniquely volatile couples: the nagging wife and her resistant husband (played by Dana DeArmond and Xander Corvus, respectively), the princess and the pocketbook played (by Lexi Belle and Anthony Rosano, respectively), and the mismatched sex drives of Natasha Nice and Wolf Hudson. Each pair is hysterically funny, and Dr. Paul helps each grow in their own ways…
But don’t worry – this is not storybook romance cheese. Though everything does work out, it’s not what you’d expect.
(pictured: “Taaaahhhd!!” – watch the movie, you will die)
Dr. Paul maintains his bitter chagrin throughout each counseling process. That is, until his role of pessimistic, burnt out, go-between is complicated by his solo client, April… and you know how that goes.
Or do you?
Everything about Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas feels good. Consequently, it’s not going to win any transgressive filmmaking awards, and people who are not at least open to the notion of cute, sweet entertainment probably won’t enjoy it. But I’m as incredulous and questioning of conventional notions of romance as people can get, and I was charmed from beginning to end.
You should watch it.
(pictured: nice, Natasha)
Two exceptional moments I noticed in Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas were 1) the use of condoms throughout (not what we generally see from New Sensations) and 2) two really interesting casting decisions with Alison Tyler as April and Wolf Hudson as one of the husbands. Though both performers have plenty of credits to their names, neither Alison nor Wolf have been in many “mainstream” and/or dramatic titles. Wolf did a great job, and Alison absolutely shined – she was so literally not who I was expecting to walk through the doctor’s office door as April that her performance (figuratively) impressed me even more.
These casting decisions coupled with the rest of the performers speak highly of New Sensations’ behind-the-scenes process. This film is packed with strong dramatic actors that we seen regularly in adult, but the additions of Wolf and Alison tell me that New Sensations is willing to take a chance with a lesser known name for the correct performer – this certainly enhances the film’s quality and authenticity overall.
Recommended for: romantics (whoever you are ;)
Love, Marriage, & Other Bad Ideas (2012)
With performances from Alison Tyler, Dana DeArmond, Lexi Belle, Natasha Nice, Anthony Rosano, Richie Calhoun, Wolf Hudson, Xander Corvus
Also featuring a really nuanced and thoughtful non-sex performance from Jacky St. James as Dr. Paul’s own shoulder to cry on – his sister!!
BTS and Extras: great BTS interviews with the performers, bloopers, and other standard fare
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All images used with permission. Behind the scenes/candid images by Jeff Koga.
You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from Porn Valley Vantage/PVVOnline, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).”