** Alpha v1.0.1.22 ***

Best Friends, Better Lovers

Best Friends, Better Lovers

Childhood best friends Sarah and Ted make a huge move to Los Angeles to jerk them out of a mundane, small-town lifestyle. Enjoying their first moments in a swanky new LA apartment, the happy friends are interrupted when sexy goth neighbor, Angie, welcomes them with an invite to a kinky house party. It's clear that Angie has her eye on the innocent but intrigued Sarah, causing some serious tension between the two friends.

Childhood friends Sarah (Eliza Ibarra) and Ted (Codey Steele) move from the small town they’ve known all their lives to Los Angeles together, with dreams of making it big. Ted, who aspires to be an actor, finds the city lifestyle distracting and uncomfortable, while Sarah, who is still searching for her calling, is filled with excitement and wonder at all the new experiences and adventures awaiting them.

When Sarah and Ted meet their kinky neighbor Angie (Joanna Angel), they’re introduced to a world beyond anything in their wildest imagination and find themselves drifting apart under the influence their new lives. Will Sarah and Ted evolve into people who want different things in life moving forward or will they discover they’ve been more than friends all along?

Adult industry powerhouse Holly Randall returns to House Wicked to helm her fifth feature in the last year for the company. This time around, Randall assembles a cast led by Codey Steele and Eliza Ibarra, both of whom make their Wicked Pictures leading role debuts. Eliza has held her own in a significant role for Randall in the past, and it feels right that the veteran director would give the young minx a chance to carry a feature movie.

Ibarra does play her part well, projecting a believable naiveté and innocence to make the story theme hit nicely. To his credit, Steele also does a good job bringing a sense of trepidation to his character that makes him feel like a fish out of water. I also want to take a moment to gush over Emma Starletto’s voice. I once saw a movie called “The Faculty” starring Clea Duvall and her character Stokely always stirred my loins because I thought her voice was uniquely sexy. Starletto’s gravely tone is very reminiscent of Stokely’s, and whenever I hear her speak it brings back fond memories. The cast is also rounded out by industry veterans and real-life couple Joanna Angel and Small Hands. I like it when directors give young talent an opportunity to shine and this movie certainly does that.

The story is billed as one of two friends who discover the deep connection they have, but I really saw it as more of a coming-of-age story. While Ted’s worldview is very rooted in the juvenile lives he and Sarah shared growing up, Sarah is fully ready to leave that existence behind and embrace her newfound freedom and adulthood. She’s experimental, open and eager to leave the past in the past. The dichotomy between she and Ted’s competing viewpoints is truly the heart of this story, with their connection playing a clear supporting role.

I really thought Joanna Angel did a nice job of being the catalyst here. Sure, she’s out for some kinky fun with the “fresh meat,” but she’s also genuine and honest with Sarah about the new reality she and Ted are trying to navigate and that was a fun twist on the idea of the corrupt big city influence personified in a villainous character that we so often see in stories like this.

Speaking of Joanna Angel, she and Ibarra handle the sexual heavy lifting in the movie. Angie and her sex partner Vincent (Small Hands) have a really nice scene together that incorporates a voyeuristic element which serves not only the eroticism, but the story as well. Hands and Angel look really good together and the red lighting was a nice touch as it helped accentuate a lot of their respective tattoos. Let’s talk about that hip positioning from Joanna during the doggie shall we? She turns her hips ever so slightly towards the camera to give the audience a better view of her pussy being speared by Hands’ cock and I gotta say, that’s performer awareness right there. A small, but effective detail. The side standing missionary is also quite nice as it gives the visual impression that Hands is absolutely stuffing Angel’s pussy to the brim.

Sarah and Angie have a very playful scene that is both exploratory and cute. Angel is surprisingly gentle with Ibarra, despite her character being portrayed as aggressive and perhaps a bit manipulative at the start of the film. She certainly takes the lead during the sex, but she gives Sarah plenty of time and space to embrace and explore this new experience, and the entire encounter comes across as surprisingly tender. Again, I thought it was a very nice swerve for Joanna’s character and the result is a pretty arousing lesbian scene that is going to ramp a lot of fans up.

Ted hooks up with a classmate from his acting course (Starletto) after the two budding thespians find some common ground over character motivation that is nicely done. While some could argue this scene acts as a representation of big city temptation corrupting poor, innocent Ted, but I saw it as Ted getting a taste of unapologetic adulthood. There’s no malicious intent on Starletto’s part, she’s just presenting her sexual availability and Ted accepts her offer as an interested sexual equal. There’s some sexy face-fucking here, a long doggie that gains intensity as it progresses and a pretty aggressive missionary finish with Emma’s legs splayed insanely wide open.

The passionate climax between Ted and Sarah is a good payoff to the tale and offers some wholesome sex tinged with a bit of kink that both lovers have discovered during their separate journeys. I do want to point out the very sensual way Ibarra and Steele caress and kiss each other at the start. They look a lot more like lovers than performers and there’s no rush. I really enjoyed the amount of face cradling and body worship there was to start this scene. It fit the story perfectly and offered some sexual variety to the movie, which is important when each scene is a standard b/g. You can lose some of your audience if you don’t vary the action and this was a great way to do that without having to lean on shock factor. I thought the sit-up missionary was very unique! I’ve never quite seen that position pulled off in that way and while it only lasted a handful of moments, I found it very arousing. Ibarra has some wonderfully long legs and this scene does a great job showing them off, particularly during the spoon, which also featured Ibarra rubbing her clit sexily while Codey pounded away.

This was a fun move that had just enough of a serious tone to move it out of the comedy category. There are certainly laughs to be had (the landlord is great), but the subject matter does touch on some more somber threads that will likely resonate with anyone who has moved to a big city to chase their dreams. Eliza Ibarra and Codey Steele both acquit themselves admirably as actors here, while Joanna Angel does a very good job softening the harsh reality Ted and Sarah are facing.

I actually think this is one of Joanna’s best acting performances because she brings some nuance to an archetype that is typically one-dimensional. Emma Starletto is officially on my “like” list due to the sultriness of her voice alone, and any studio who values feature porn should make use of Holly Randall’s talents because she’s got a great eye for it.