Lovelace

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film’s plot is non-linear. This summary is presented in chronological order.

In 1970 in Davie, Florida, Linda Boreman and her best friend Patsy go roller skating when they volunteer to dance on stage to the local band at the roller rink. Their dancing attracts the attention of Chuck Traynor, who develops a relationship with Linda. After Linda breaks a curfew, she moves out of her parents’ house and marries Traynor. During a party, Linda watches one of Traynor’s homemade porno films for the first time. Six months later, Linda bails Traynor out of jail after he is arrested for soliciting prostitution. Desperate for money, Traynor forces Linda into prostitution at gunpoint. Shortly afterwards, he has her audition at B & A Films, where she lands a career after Traynor shows producers Nat Laurendi and Anthony Romano a film of her doing fellatio. Linda begins work on the film Deep Throat, where she first uses her stage name Linda Lovelace. Deep Throat becomes a hit among viewers and critics, raking in over $30,000 in the box office on its first week. During a private screening of the film in Los Angeles, Hugh Hefner convinces Linda that she has the potential to be more than a porn actress. Following the screening, Traynor once again forces Linda at gunpoint to participate in a gang bang at a hotel. The next day, she secretly meets up with Romano and tells him she wants out of the porno business, revealing the facial bruises inflicted by Traynor. Romano has her checked in to a hotel while he and his bodyguards whip Traynor for abusing Linda and for the $25,000 he owes.

Six years later, following her divorce from Traynor, Linda marries Larry Marchiano and moves to Long Island and has a son with him. She takes a polygraph test prior to publishing her autobiography Ordeal, which details her years of Traynor physically and sexually abusing her, as well as controlling all of her earnings. Linda appears on Donahue to talk about her autobiography, with her distraught parents breaking down in tears while watching her on TV. A few days later, the Marcianos travel to Florida for Linda to reconcile with her parents.

The film’s ending captions reveal that while Deep Throat made over $600 million worldwide, Linda earned only $1,250. Ordeal went on to sell out three printings, and for 20 years, Linda had spoken out against pornography and domestic violence. Traynor went on to marry Marilyn Chambers. Linda died at the age of 53 from injuries sustained in a car accident in 2002; Traynor suffered a fatal heart attack three months later

REVIEW:

I must really be out of it, because when someone mentions Deep Throat to me, I think of the informant in the Nixon scandal, not the porn flick that made Linda Lovelace a star. Lovelace is a biopic meant to inform the general public, becase let’s face it, we don’t all watch porn, about Linda’s life and career, but does anyone really care?

What is this about?

Amanda Seyfried stars as adult film icon Linda Lovelace, a woman coerced into and abused by the porn industry before taking charge of her life.

What did I like?

Film. I don’t know if they used cameras from the 70s or some technique to make it appear aged, but I was digging the fact that the whole film seemed like it was from that era. This is something that I think more period pieces should do, if they can. Obviously, with something set in the Romantic era, you can, but a gangster movie could have the popping black and white film, for example.

Stone. There are quite the number of big name stars in the picture, but one that you may not even realize is Sharon Stone. She is nearly unrecognizable as Linda’s mother. If not for someone mentioning it in a review I listened to a few days ago, I doubt I would’ve know it was her until the credits. I argue that this is one of her finest performances of all time, and yet, it will probably go overlooked.

What didn’t I like?

Skin. I am hesitant to type this, but in a film about a porn star, where was the skin?!? First of all, Amanda Seyfried has proven she has no fear showing off her body, as we’ve seen in films such as Chloe. I don’t believe there was any skin on display in this film, which is really a shock. Perhaps that is what the filmmakers wanted, but given the topic, a little skin should be shown.

Tone. For me, this whole film felt like it was one of those overly dramatic TV movies, but without all the scenes that reduce women to tears. Yes, Linda Lovelace had a rough life, but I can guarantee you the audience for this film did not watch it to learn about her history, sadly. On the other hand, and this is going to sound like a bit of a contradiction, this film didn’t feel heavy enough. It touched on some topics, such as her getting abused by her husband, and then left it alone. They should have gone more into that, if you ask me.

Digitize. I mentioned earlier how the look of this film impressed me, but I have to bring up a mistake that I caught. Near the end of the film, Linda is making an appearance on Donahue. It looks as if they used the real show and spliced Amanda Seyfried in, which is fine, except that it is obvious she doesn’t belong. This is such a big deal for me because I can take you back 20 years to The Mambo Kings where Antonio Banderas, Armand Assante, and (playing his father) Desi Arnaz, Jr. appear in an episode on I Love Lucy. Nothing seems out of place in this scene, so what happened to technology between then and now?

I have become a bit of a fan of Amanda Seyfried, but Lovelace was not the role for her. This is a film that is just short of being a made for TV film, and not because of production value, but because of the writing. Whereas other biopics such as Ray, for instance seem to have been carefully crafted and meticulously scripted. I half think this was written on a piece of toilet paper in a gas station restroom. Ok, that might be a bit harsh, but this is not anything to rush out and see. I almost want to say that you should avoid it, but there are moments and history to learn from. I won’t recommend it, but know that it exists.

3 out of 5 stars

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