The Awakening

The Awakening (2000)
Vivid Interactive

When it comes to adult films, it seems that most people either want a movie that’s all action with no plot or they want one that has some semblance of a plot, while offering plenty of steamy sex-play. This begs the question, is it possible for an adult movie to have too much plot? This just may be the case with "The Awakening" (which should not be confused with 1980 Charlton Heston film of the same name. There’s a little more sex in this film.). "The Awakening" offers good production values and some very hot sex scenes, but the serious tone of the story seems to overshadow the eroticism at times.

"The Awakening" of the title doesn’t apply to a "sexual awakening" (trust me, the characters in this film are sexually wide awake!), but a spiritual awakening. Inari Vachs stars as Angie, who assists her boyfriend Pitch (Bobby Vitale) in his nude photography studio. (The models are nude, and so is the photographer!) Angie and Pitch are a very sexual couple, and they like to swing with other couples when possible. They are friends with Kat (Kobe Tai), a singer who has recently gone through rehab and is trying to avoid drugs and alcohol, and is trying to get her career off of the ground. For these friends, life is just a party.

However, the party ends for Angie and Pitch, when they are involved in an auto accident in which their friend Doug (Michael J. Cox) is killed. After the accident, Angie is temporarily confined to a wheelchair. The wreck is the beginning of Angie’s spiritual awakening. She begins to look at the life that she has with Pitch and realizes that she is a very shallow person. Angie begins to explore new age religions to try and center herself. This creates a rift between Angie and Pitch, who can’t understand why things can’t go back to the way that they were. Meanwhile, as the popularity of Kat’s band is growing, so is her temptation to relapse on drugs. The somber and nihilistic ending of "The Awakening" shows that each character has grown, but not in the way that you may expect.

That plot synopsis alone should indicate that this isn’t your ordinary sex film that we’re dealing with. To put it mildly, "The Awakening" is a very odd movie. The sex scenes are impressive and well done, and the story is actually well written, but they just don’t gel. It’s like watching an After-School Special which just happens to have hardcore sex scenes. Also, in the middle of this deadly serious film, you’ve got seemingly impromptu dialogue, such as, "If God didn’t want us to exploit sex, she wouldn’t have made it so exploitalicious!" Surprisingly, the actors in the film do a fairly good job of convincingly portraying the drama in the film. Inari Vachs is especially believable as the lost soul, Angie.

Aside from the strangely dark plot of "The Awakening", the sex scenes are first class. There are over eight lengthy sex scenes in the film. These scenes offer a wide variety of sexual activities, including straight sex, anal intercourse, girl-on-girl, sex toys, and light-bondage. I really could have done without the scene where the girl has her head in the toilet, but other than that, the sex in the film is very steamy. Kudos must go to Inari Vachs. Her natural body and wholesome good looks (she bares a striking resemblance to Jennie Garth) make her very sexy. It’s nice to see a woman in an adult film whose breasts don’t look like basketballs. Fans of Kobe Tai should be aware that she only has two sex scenes in the film and they come later in the movie. So, don’t get frustrated if you haven’t see Kobe in action by the 45-minute point. Be warned, however, the titilating sex scenes in the film are often followed by a very serious and morose scene, which can be a real downer.
The Vivid DVD of "The Awakening" features the usual selection of features that we’ve come to expect from Vivid. "The Awakening" is presented full-frame. As the movie was shot on video, the picture is very clear. It would appear that the DVD was taken was the master tape. The image is very crisp, and the colors are well-balanced. Unlike some shot on video productions, "The Awakening" doesn’t have a washed out or over-lit look, and there are actually some scenes where the lighting resembles "film" lighting. The audio on "The Awakening" is a digital stereo, which adequately presents the dialogue and sound effects.

Being a Vivid DVD, there are plenty of extra features. Several of the sex scenes contain multiple angles, where the viewer chooses the angle from which to watch the scene. For once, there was actually a difference between the angles. The DVD contains fifteen previews for other Vivid titles (and as we all know, the previews contain all of the best moments!). The Int. Tel. Sex room contains four short sex scenes, and the "Award Winning Sex" room contains three short sex scenes. Also, the DVD contains a "Bad Girls" room which features the familiar "Vivid Dungeon", which the viewer must navigate to be treated to bonus sex scenes. Also, there is a section where you can learn more about ten of the "Vivid Girls". Overall, "The Awakening" DVD contains over eight hours of features to hold your interest.

For those of you searching for a different kind of adult film, I suggest that you give "The Awakening" a try. While the sex scenes are very well done (let me say it again: Inari Vachs), they don’t offer anything which is incredibly original. What is original is the deadly serious plot which deals with death and drug addiction (and that’s just for starters). So, if, for once, you want to see a sex movie that has a plot, then "The Awakening" is for you. If you’re the kind of person who always fast-forwards through the talking anyway, then you’ll love the hot action in "The Awakening". Either way, this film has a little something for everyone.