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‘First Blush’ review: Smartly looks at the highs and lows of a polyamorous relationship

Three way affair.

First Blush is a different type of love triangle. This is not a story about jealousy or a comedy of errors. It is a film about the highs and lows of a polyamorous relationship. It is not the first time movies have tried to tackle this type of premise, but it is a tale for this generation. Nena (Rachel Alig) and Drew (Ryan Caraway) are in a stable marriage. So stable that it has become more habitual than anything else.  When the two meet former model Olivia (Kate Beecroft), a new exciting dynamic enters their relationship. But is it too much?

There are certain expectations that come with a movie about a three person relationship. One of them is a good portion of the story needs to be focused on sex. First Blush subverts this and is the better for it. Similar films use intercourse as a way for the parties involved to sort out their feelings about each other. This is reductive and not true to life. This is a movie that explores a three way relationship by intelligently talking about sex instead of actually showing it.

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First Blush focuses more on how they characters feel about each other instead of how they plan on making things work in bed. Writer-director Victor Neumark has created fleshed out characters and not used caricatures that go through the motions. It brings life and energy to the film.

(Interestingly, before the couple meets Olivia, the story is bland. It is obviously setting up the story to come, but there is a generic feel to First Blush. It is almost as if the movie itself is mirroring the marriage.)

As is the case with many romantic comedies, the lead characters are very important in First Blush. Alig is great as the seemingly always flustered Nena. Beecroft is perfectly cast as the mysterious one time model. Caraway does much of the emotional heavy lifting in the final act of the movie and is up to the task. Audiences will enjoy watching them figure out their new relationship.

First Blush will be available nationwide on digital and cable VOD through Gravitas February 2

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