“Lust Life Love” — introduces actor Jake Choi — a star in the making! - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Sunday, January 30, 2022

“Lust Life Love” — introduces actor Jake Choi — a star in the making!

 “Lust Life Love” — introduces actor 

Jake Choi — a star in the making!

“Lust Life Love” introduces the audience to the polyamorous community in New York City. The indie is written, co-directed, and stars Stephanie Sellars who presents a hidden world where the people drift through sexual adventures looking to connect to something more … but using sex to feel something, more. 

“Lust Life” is inspired by a column, of the same name, which ran in a free weekly newspaper in NYC circa 2006-2007. 

Here’s the story. Veronica (Sellars) is deeply invested in the polyamorous world and when she’s not having sex, she’s writing about her experiences. In her self-discovery mode, the bigger question swirling around love tends to take her attention. Question: “Is true love a reason to be monogamous?” Question: [can] “three people can come together in mutual desire and not fall apart?” 

Go on. Ponder the questions, please. That seems to be the point of the movie. In a way, Veronica, who blogs about sex and relationships, is pointing the proverbial spotlight on the principles of the polyamory lifestyle. She identifies as bisexual and is in a relationship with her feminine-stud presenting girlfriend (Jeanna Han), and on the male side, she has an emotional connection with a handsome, young Latino fine artist (Rolando Chusan) whom she also poses for.

These emotional connections don’t get in the way of the other polyamorous lovers and she cautions (often) that there is “no pressure, no expectations” which seems like a get out of jail card and an interesting way to have a healthy sex life. 

But nothing “perfect” stays that way forever and we discover that there is pressure and all of these sexual exchanges do come with“expectations.”

Veronica’s world is a whirlwind of sex. Sex parties, orgies, flirtations, and causal pickups. The story builds its emotional center when she meets Daniel (Jake Choi) who is married when they connect but clearly, he’s searching for something more. 

It doesn’t take long for Daniel’s marriage to move into the red zone. The danger button is flashing even when Veronica is tossing out advice that sounds like she has it all figured out — “It is enlightening to see my partner through the desires of another” —when it’s clear that she does not. 

Emotionally, Veronica is good at presenting healthy but the power of jealousy has a will of its own and it’s not pretty. 

As Veronica takes her Daniel through this world that’s driven by sex and lust she promises that heartbreak isn’t part of the experience offering that this way of life is an “advantage” because (she alledges) doesn’t leave one shattered if one person in the “triad” breaks things off.

“If I love someone, the first thing I give that person is ‘freedom’” the voice-over shares, words uttered to her by a lover who’s not leaving her orbit. And it is here that the narrator confesses that eventually participating in these orgies leaves her feeling cold. 

What’s she looking for is what most of us are looking for and that’s love, despite her words to the contrary. 

“What’s your safe word,” her female lover asks. She responds “kitten” as they start an orgy focused on bondage and spanking. Daniel, now a part of this world, ties Veronica up, binds her, as their sexual show begins. He watches. They love being watched. 

But Daniel isn’t anything like Veronica. He’s a kind man and doesn't understand the rules. For him, she’s an important part of his life. Here we begin to see her jealous side rear its ugly head.

“Lust Life Love” is well shot and edited.

“Lust Life Love” is worth watching because of Jake Choi who does a lot with a little. 

Here’s an interesting fact. The film is about the life and times of a real New York City sex columnist, Stephanie Sellars, who wrote a weekly column on taboo subjects like polyamory, sex parties, and BDSM for the New York Press for more than a decade. “Lust Life Love” is based on those experiences. 

Jake Choi is perfect as Daniel, a star in the making. I only wish that Stephanie Sellars would have placed her ego aside and cast another actress for the lead. Here’s the thing, if we don’t emotionally connect with the lead, you can’t connect with the characters’ journey and just like the meaningless sexual exchange, we are just watching because you invited us. 

“Lust Life Love” stars Stephanie Sellars, Jake Choi, Makeda Declet, Jeanna Han, Rolando Chusan, Susanna Fraser, and Bill Irwin.

Directed by Benjamin Feuer and Stephanie Sellars, scripted by Stephanie Sellars.

#Movies #Love #Sex #Polyamory

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