BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
AUGUST 20, 2013
An entertaining biopic with a strong central performance from Amanda Seyfried, “Lovelace,” captures the rise and fall of real-life porn star Linda Lovelace. Starting her life as Linda Boreman, she lives with her strict parents, Dorothy (Sharon Stone) and John (Robert Patrick). It is not until Linda meets and marries suave Chuck Traynor, played entirely convincingly by Peter Sarsgaard, that she escapes into a racier world. Taught by her mother to obey her husband’s needs, Linda descends into the rabbit hole pushed by her ever-changing husband. Completely victimized and drawing full shades of black-and-white, Chuck forces Linda to sleep with men for money and eventually to take part in pornography. Impressing porn star producers Butchie and Gerry played wonderfully by Bobby Cannavale and Hank Azaria with her sexual talents, the next step is producing the famous X-rated film “Deep Throat” with co-star Harry Reems (Adam Brody).
However informative “Lovelace” is, there’s a lack of distinction between tones. Partly humorous, partly sob story, this adaptation of Linda Lovelace’s life is treated more like a made-for-TV movie than an actual feature film. Although the superb ensemble casting helps keep the film on its feet, Epstein and Friedman’s endeavor never feels fully formed. Amanda Seyfried dominates the film, with spot-on expressions and sexual freedom needed to nail this role. Peter Sarsgaard plays an excellent villain and begins to ascend to great heights with his character.
Some supporting roles are squandered, like Wes Bentley’s creepy performance as a monotone photographer or the almost non-existent Chloë Sevigny. Chris Noth as the head producer of “Deep Throat” would have benefited from more screen time. Also swept under the rug is Juno Temple’s role as the best friend. With an emotional performance, Robert Patrick delivers the most heartbreaking breakthrough in the film. Overall, “Lovelace” leans on Seyfried’s performance rather than a strong film and screenplay, lifting her performance. Still, regardless, it never fails to entertain and, naturally enough, gets its point across.
August 9, 2013
(for strong sexual content, nudity, language, drug use and some domestic violence)
Eric Alan Edwards