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make sure you dont have mods/packages in your sims 3 root folder (if you have custom content that is) see if you can find your configuration file and set everything to low and try then you can attempt to run the game and change video option as you wish
I had the same problem, until I cleaned the registry of any TS3-related stuff and reinstalled. I dunno what your registry cleaner edited, but EA has a pretty good tutorial on their site that tells you exactly what to take out. Worked like a charm for me.
I had the problem with both base game and then with adventures. What solved it for me was deleting cache files in My documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3,CASPartCache,compositorCache,scriptCache andsimCompositorCache. Also if you have a folder calledWorldCaches there, delete everything in that folder.
But if nothing helps, just reinstall the game without any mods and I'm pretty sure it'll work.. :-)