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Perfect Life

Wicked Pictures | 2005

How Far Is Too Far?

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Based on 3 Reviews.
Director:  Michael Raven

Starring:  Jessica Drake  Kaylani Lei 

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Starring:  Randy Spears  Alexis Malone 

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Starring:  Jessica Drake  Randy Spears 

Starring:  Steven St. Croix  Lezley Zen 

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Starring:  Jessica Drake  Barrett Blade 

Recommendations

Member Reviews

Past Imperfect

By Diesel
I really wanted to enjoy THE PERFECT LIFE, despite the generally tepid reviews and the overall artistic rut which has been afflicting feature-based adult DVDs lately. Director Michael Raven is probably one of the most popular adult filmmakers of the last five years, and his reputation for quality fuck flicks is well-known. Though his work isn't up to the standards of a Paul Thomas or John Leslie movie, Mr. Raven can at least be counted on to deliver competent and entertaining adult fare.

But despite a very talented cast, excellent production values for a low-budget, shot-on-video feature (rarely can one complain about the audio and video quality of a Wicked production), and a hint or two of ambition from the screenplay, THE PERFECT LIFE is not even close to being a perfect porno movie. Jessica Drake, whose perfect figure and lovely face never wears out its welcome onscreen, plays a woman distraught about her boyfriend, played by Chris Evans. The lucky guy picks up and fucks sexy Kaylani Lei in a bathroom stall, and as luck would have it, Jessica happens to be next door (masturbating to the sounds of their lovemaking, no less). This somewhat intriguing situational premise is a promising start to what could have been a standard, but effective, soap opera-esque lust story. Indeed, the Chris and Kaylani's little romp is definitely boner-inducing, though not necessarily outstanding.

But instead, we get into the familiar (and clichéd) fantasy tale of seeing what Jessica's life would have been like had she not made certain choices in her past. Since we are introduced to Jessica's character so soon and without much detail about her background, there really is no emotional resonance or even relevance to the alternate time-line flashback premise. This kind of meandering sloppiness might be expected from the kind of heavy-handed Paul Thomas stuff of the early nineties, but it feels dated and tired today.

So when all is said and done, all we have are the sex scenes to enjoy, but none are particularly memorable. Randy Spears (playing Jessica's ex-husband) gets to roll around with Alexis Malone, who is capable of truly stunning erotic performances (check out Jules Jordan's TAKE NO PRISONERS), but seems to be going through the motions here. The next encounter involves Mr. Spears and Ms. Drake and is not much better than the previous scene. And because it's shot in the same bedroom, it looks and feels like a duplication of the Malone/Spears affair.

Lezley Zen and Steven St. Croix have a genuinely heated coupling ending in an oral cumshot. Despite what appears to be wood problems by Mr. St. Croix, Lezley is at her slutty best in this brief appearance. Finally, Barrett Blade (playing "Death"???) and Jessica finish off THE PERFECT LIFE with a straight sex scene taking place against a blue screen background, with superimposed clouds and sky. The chroma key effect is so cheesy and distracting, that I found the whole setting laughable, which isn't what a fuck film is supposed to make you do.

Extra materials on this DVD a behind the scenes featurette (which may not be of much interest depending on how you feel about the main content), a quick look at how the blue screen effect works, a blooper reel, and a look at how the excellent box cover design was shot. Incidentally, there is one other saving grace to the lackluster sexual proceedings: the DVD includes a bonus scene from ONE MAN'S OBSESSION, spotlighting Jessica Drake and Randy Spears. Though there is nothing outstanding about their pool-side suck and fuck session, I have to say that Jessica looks so damn good and her fellatio work so arousing that it almost saves this otherwise well-packaged DVD. On the other hand, you may just want to pick up that movie instead and forget about this so-called PERFECT LIFE.

Far From Perfect

By Emperor Palpatine
One of the unwritten rules of filmmaking (and it's just as good of a rule for adult as it is mainstream) is to never use voiceovers by your characters unless it's absolutely necessary. Well, Michael Raven's latest, Perfect Life, uses them to the extreme...in fact, there's only a few bits of dialogue in his movie that aren't done through voiceover by star Jessica Drake. Are they necessary? Not really. Do they add to the film? Nope - in fact, they make it harder to sit through, since Jessica is spouting verbiage that is supposed to give the movie more meaning...but actually manages to bring the rest of the film down. This isn't the first time I've seen Raven use voiceovers to tell his story, but this is the one film where they are the least effective.

The story of Perfect Life is a little convoluted, but essentially we see events happening in Jessica's life that turn it in the wrong direction, and then we see what happens if Jessica hadn't made the choices that led to that event. At the beginning of the movie, Jessica is on the brink of suicide after catching her boyfriend (Chris Evans) screwing Kaylani Lei in a bathroom stall. The "kicker" here is that Jessica was in the stall right next to them and didn't realize it was her boyfriend who was giving it to Kaylani. In fact, Jessica was masturbating while listening to them getting it on, so she's doubly upset when she finds out she has been cheated on.

But then, the film jumps back in time to see what would have happened if Jessica had stayed with her first husband (played by Randy Spears) and therefore would have never hooked up with Chris at all. We see a scene between Randy and Alexis Malone - which is apparently an affair he was having that Jessica walked in on and divorced her husband over. This time around, however, Jessica says nothing of the affair...and her life with Randy continues from that point. Jessica eyes Barrett Blade at a get-together, but doesn't act on her passion...oddly, when she asks him who he is, he simply replies "I'm Death."

Having dinner with Lezley Zen, Jessica finds out that her friend has not only been fooling around on her husband...but has been doing it with his permission. This leads to a scene between Lezley and her boss, played by Steven St. Croix. Jessica goes home that night and asks Randy what he would think about her being with another guy. Randy's reply isn't what Jessica expected, as he simply states he would let her do so if it would make her happy. Jessica then goes and makes out with Barrett Blade (which is shot against a blue screen so that clouds are floating in the background) for the movie's final sex scene. After making out with Barrett, however, Jessica once again changes the path of her life and goes back in time to make sure she never asks Randy about her being with another man.

What's the point of all this? Well Raven seems to be saying that every choice we make in our life leads to consequences - which most viewers already realize. However, it seems that every right choice Jessica makes in this movie regarding her relationships lead to disaster, leading her back in time to make the wrong choice to continue to be happy. So is Raven saying that those who seem to be living a "Perfect Life" are just those who didn't take chances and make the right choices? The interpretation is up to each individual viewer, I suppose.

Ultimately, Perfect Life is one of those films you may watch just for the sex, rather than for the story. The opening bathroom scene between Kaylani and Chris is fairly hot, but most of the other couplings are rather average - although Raven does a good job (as always) filming the action. The movie has been shot in the letterboxed format, but has not been anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs. On the other hand, the 5.1 audio is quite impressive and is one of the better sounding adult DVDs I have heard in a while.

Bonus features on this one include a scene between Jessica Drake and Randy Spears from the movie One Man's Obsession, as well as a 15-minute behind the scenes segment on the making of Perfect Life. There's also a short one-minute clip where Jessica shows how blue screen effects work, a two-minute look at the box cover shoot, and five-minutes worth of bloopers/outtakes that prove not to be very humorous (basically just Lezley and Jessica forgetting their lines during their scene together).

The rest of the extras are filled up with the kind of material that's on almost every Wicked release: slide shows, biographies, promo and DVD-ROM materials, and some trailers.

Raven's Perfect Life proved to be anything but for this adult reviewer. It's a well-made film visually, but it just didn't do it for me in either storytelling or hardcore sex.

Almost Perfect

By seanacollins
The metaphorical imagery in this film from Wicked is borderline brilliant and I suspect it will fly clean over the heads of most adult consumers. The lead character played by Jessica Drake portrays a woman who lives her entire life inside her own head. Feeding off of a fantasy she has concocted to shield herself from the harsh realities of her unhappy life. Jessica has created fictional versions of her entire circle of friends in order to assist her through her life. In her "reality", unpleasant things, events she would rather forget may be erased from existence by a whim, mistakes may be unmade by the imagination in order to perpetuate her own illusion. One example of this is in a sequence between she and her "perfect husband" played by Randy Spears. As she rambles on in a automoton manner about how perfect, loving, loyal and faithful her husband is, she finds a nightie at the foot of the bed. It is not hers. Evidence of her husband's loyalty. She quickly throws it away and watches it disappear....if it doesnt exist, then it couldn't have happened right? All is perfect again.

This movie is full of such imagery. I found Raven's handling of these metaphors to be brilliant, if not genius. The editing and sound design were outstanding. An incredible 5.1 mix. The sex scenes themselves are good by feature standards, with the standouts being the opener with Kaylani and Chris Evans as well as Lezlie Zen and Steven St. Croix. My one complaint was the final sex scene with Jessica Drake and Barrett Blade. I didnt mind the speciall effects so much, they just seemed a bit repetitive.

Overall, this was a movie that not anyone could have made. Raven handled it superbly.

Product Information

How Far Is Too Far?

Running Time:
1 hrs. 39 mins.
Release Year:
2005
Released:
Aug 17 2005
Starring:
Jessica Drake, Kaylani Lei, Steven St. Croix, Randy Spears, Lezley Zen, Barrett Blade, Alexis Malone, Grant Michaels, Chris Evans