I was not inspired by Smash Pictures’ Broken Hearts (2013).
I mean, yes – there is something compelling about thinking you’re in love, finding out the truth, and moving on to something better; however, in spite of its best efforts, Broken Hearts careens headlong into many porn cheese pitfalls, failing to deliver anything more than one big long eye roll at the end.
(pictured: for your DVD and/or VOD enjoyment, Broken Hearts can be found here)
Here is the exceptionally detailed, wordy, and under-punctuated synopsis:
Richie (CALHOUN) thinks he has finally found his one true love when he begins a whirlwind romance with a woman in San Francisco (REMY LE CROIX). Risking everything he decides to take a surprise trip to SF and profess his love to her only to discover she is married. Heartbroken and crushed he returns to Los Angeles to put his life back together. Michelle (MISCHA BROOKS), also recently heartbroken by a cheating boyfriend has given up men. Her best friends Amy and Kinzi (KENNEDY LEIGH) are truly worried about her. Amy ( ABBY CROSS) is married to a true romantic Logan and Kinzi is spoiled by her infatuated boyfriend Dan (DANE CROSS). Through a chance encounter on the beach and via the fact Michelle rents a room from Amy, Michelle and Richie soon start hanging out and spending time together. ASH HOLLYWOOD makes an appearance as a wild actress/musician who dates Richie’s friend Tommy (DANNY WYLDE), and stirs up a dinner party by sneaking off to the bathroom for a quickie. Will Mischa and Richie eventually decide to take the plunge back into the ocean of love again?
Ok, so we’re going for (porn) romance here… Without picking apart plot holes and jumps in continuity, let’s consider some of Broken Hearts‘ key elements.
Star power – Richie and Remy… you can’t get much more for your porno punch today. Remy is lovely in the beginning quarter of the film… but then she disappears, and we’re left with a film about Richie. Which is fine.
(Michelle’s – Mischa’s – romance gone wrong tale is technically there throughout, but it’s really sidelined… or maybe that’s just because my DVD was damaged)
Settings!! – Much of this movie was filmed outside!! (not the sex parts) We see downtown LA, some ocean bluff, and San Francisco!! And there’re also some (relatively) unfamiliar lofts and bedroom settings that get considerable screen time. Way to change things up, Smash!!
(pictured: kinda awesome… but I wasn’t lying about the cardigan)
But the first five+ minutes of the film are nothing but a forced, almost unwatchable “romantic walk around town” sequence between Remy and Richie. She is lovely, he is wearing the most ridiculous blond dye job and fisherman’s cardigan. The part where he attempts to pick her up – jeeezus. And at one point her gets her in some sort of rear-naked headlock thing – mata leon!!
But the sex is good. There’s that.
(the rest of the acting in the film is comparably forced. in terms of unwatchable, Mischa’s rant when she finds out about her cheating boyfriend rivaled the opening Remy/Richie Romance sequence. the remainder of the sex is fine)
(pictured: sexy sex)
Effort – Smash gets an A for effort here… well, maybe a B – the story could’ve been great, there was effort in terms of casting, and I loved the diverse settings… but Broken Hearts‘ entire execution fell so flat. I admire Jim Powers’ desire to step outside his directorial comfort zone (and/or capitalize on lip service associated with “romance porn” …and maybe “porn for women”?), but he’s gonna need to step it up if he wants to run with Wicked’s or New Sensations‘ romance efforts.
But maybe the (perceived) middle-of-the-road mark is what Smash was going for? In that case, I extra-worry about Broken Hearts…
You see, unfortunately, this underwhelming title lands squarely in the crosshairs of every bit of rhetoric people offer up about chemistry-less “romance porn.” I can just imagine folks looking to hate on adult content picking up this title and saying “SEEEEEEE!! Here it is – pornographers doing A, B, and XXX!!”
Broken Hearts (2013)
With performances from Remy LaCroix, Abby Cross, Ash Hollywood, Kennedy Leigh, Mischa Brooks, Dane Cross, Danny Wylde, Logan Pierce, and Richie Calhoun.
Directed by Jim Powers for Smash Pictures. Released in May, 2013.
Buy your copy and/or watch it now here.
BTS and Extras: pretty decent interviews with each lady performer and standard fare.
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All images used with permission.
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