tagReviews & EssaysA Hardcore Love Story

A Hardcore Love Story


Marie And Jack: A Hardcore Love Story
Studio: Comstock Films
Category: All Sex , Couples
Starring: Aria and Jack Bravo
Release date: 9/11/2003

Five stars.

Marie and Jack: A Hardcore Love Story, from director Tony Comstock, has been talked about a good deal and justifiably cooed over since its release in 2003. Reviewers one by one have succumbed to the film's charm. They've been beguiled, like I was, by the fresh faced enthusiasm that Jack and Marie demonstrate for each other, engaged by their good natured humour and captivated by witnessing the intimacy and pleasure of authentic sex between this real life couple, all skillfully captured buy a clever filmmaker.

Reading the many enthusiastic reviews at the Comstock website, all over the net and here at Adult DVD Talk, I realised two things, both of them relatively unusual in the porn world -- Marie and Jack appears to be a film that's regarded with a genuine and abiding affection and fondness by its viewers, reviewers and critics alike. It also seems to represent a rare find in adult material -- a film that truly celebrates sex as a joyous, intimate connection between people and does so in a way that clearly reminds us of why beautiful lovemaking is so enthralling and pleasurable to watch.

It's been well over a year since Marie and Jack: A Hardcore Love Story landed in my DVD player. A year in which I've been on my own particular quest, the one I've unofficially dubbed "The Search For Watchable Porn". My search has seen me spending time studying the genre and associated texts, investigating the ins and outs of the industry, watching a cross section of material and immersing myself in more detail than perhaps I should have ought to… and yes, it's been quite an education.

Having said that, I don't consider myself a seasoned porn viewer -- not yet at least. Far from it. Selective and choosy, yes, and reasonably well informed as a consumer -- but am I any better equipped to review or comment on this or any other film as a result of the quest? I don't really know. What I do know is that I'm a whole lot more sure about the kind of films I like to watch, and Marie and Jack: A Hardcore Love Story falls squarely into that category; it's the kind of porn I like to watch. Simple as that really. And as complex as that.

So, what is it about Marie and Jack: A Hardcore Love Story that I like so much? Lots. I found myself nodding in agreement with Eric Danville, Penthouse's video critic when he wrote in the January '05 issue of Penthouse Magazine;

"…Through well-done, thoughtful interview segments, they describe their meeting and initial attraction, and give insight into their sex life. Their sex scene, which runs half an hour, is considerably different from what Aria's fans have seen before. From slow, sensuous kissing to genuine, real-life orgasms, she and Bravo open up in a way few in this business have ever done. Then, when the show is over, you can watch the whole shebang again exactly the way you want, choosing different angles, zooming in and pulling back. This is an interesting concept made even more enjoyable by the sincerity and charm of its principals."

The entire film -- has loads of sincerity and charm. There's plenty to love about this little film -- but simply, I think I'm most fond of the fact that it delivers a playful, affectionate tenderness combined with a genuine eroticism that I find a real pleasure to view.

I like how the filmmaker pays attention to the details and skillfully captures the small intimate actions and reactions that speak volumes about the reality of what we're watching. View the excerpt clips of Marie and Jack, have a look at the way Marie kisses Jack after she orgasms, in my mind, that passionate, loving kiss is as sexy and erotic as any of the action that precedes or follows it.

Watch the tiny, knowing movements of Jack's fingers as he strokes Marie (Quicktime Clip). It's hotly explicit, but there's nothing overtly theatrical or performance-like about their lovemaking, it's quiet, they focus on each other but as other reviewers have said, it's like they've invited us in. I like that.

The implied invitation or "permission to be there" doesn't distil or dissipate any of my very distinct pleasure in being privy to such gorgeous acts of authentic intimacy. It's almost like being a voyeur looking through a window, but in this case, the occupants have left the curtains open because they genuinely want me to see.

Or perhaps more accurately, as the film is shot in a warm, close style, it's very much like sitting nearby, hands in my pants, in a comfortable chair, while these two make love. It still has a deliciously illicit feel, it's still sexy and downright erotic, but I feel welcome and only just barely outside of the action and that turns me on. I like that very much.

I also very much enjoyed the film's structure. Don't be deceived by the apparent simplicity of the documentary style. It's an elegant format that works at plenty of levels. In some ways it's so straightforward that it's almost unnerving and had me asking (and I'm still asking...) why isn't there more porn just like this? We get to know them, we hear about the way they feel about each other, what turns them on and then we see them make love. We like them, we're interested, we want them to have a good time, we care. It works.

And now we want more.

Let's hope that capturing authenticity, genuine connection, sexiness, chemistry and tenderness catches on and perhaps even evolves into the next taboo or adult film niche -- we sure as hell could use another category on the shop shelf and I'd love to see Comstock Films stock those shelves with very many more wonderful hardcore love stories.

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