Saturday Movies: Lovelace (2013)

Well it only makes sense to follow up a blog reviewing a book about staying pure while single with a tale about Linda Lovelace. I knew nothing about Linda Lovelace before watching this movie, but I can see why those who knew plenty about her were disappointed. For me, I was learning a lot because I was starting at zero, but if you’re someone familiar with her life then you’re probably hoping for a movie that really gets inside the character and her motives. With some amazing performances from the cast we get a quick glimpse of how tragic her story is without an impact that stays long after.

Summary: Linda is under the tight scrutiny of her mother at home. Chuck looks like he might be an escape from that, and they get married and move away from her home. Not long after though Chuck changes, and his true colors begin to shine. To help pay off his debts he becomes her pimp, and gets her involved with the porn industry. Chuck doesn’t see what is coming next as Linda’s career skyrockets, and the studios become more interested in her. Chuck only becomes more abusive as her success climbs.

Acting: It’s a shame that the movie wasn’t longer because Amanda Seyfried commits a lot to this role. It could have been this role worthy of a lot more attention had the movie put in more to the story of her life. She develops from this naive girl to a woman fighting to survive very well. Peter Sarsgaard is Chuck, and does a good job with that role as well. He makes Chuck as unlikable as he sounds from Lovelace’s accounts. He was junkie who made his money from selling women any way he could. I also could not recognize Sharon Stone at all as Dorothy, Linda’s mother. Dorothy though is an interesting character, but is very undeveloped as is her Linda’s father, John, played by Robert Patrick. There are also a host other names in the movie like James Franco as Hugh Hefner, Adam Brody as Harry Reems, and Wes Bentley as Thomas. The length of the movie never gives this huge cast with interesting stories time to breathe though.

Filming: The movie does utilize the vibe of the 70’s to really try to sell the story. I liked how they created the feeling of the 70’s but finding out that they wrongly cited a movie, The French Connection, in 1970, when it was released in 1971, shows just how hard they were trying to sell the 70’s era. I did like the movie begins with the aspect of how the porn industry, and the world perceived her at the time that Deep Throat was released. We get this fun, party, atmosphere, with some dark glimpses here and there, but nothing as dark as what is to come. The second part is more of a fill in of what Linda was experiencing behind the doors away from the world. I feel this was a creative way to approach the movie. The director seems to get so caught up on this that it does take away from the interesting stories the characters really do live.

Plot: As mentioned, the plot is more so a glance of how the world thought of her versus the real life story happening behind closed doors. I liked how the story built up to that then began reversing itself back through pivotal scenes in the movie to lead us up to how Lovelace got to where she was later. I think this movie was good, but the story really does have potential to be one that is great. Linda lived an interesting life that was much more complex than even what this movie lets on. In some ways people watching this movie will get the implication that Deep Throat was the last porn movie that Linda every made, but it actually took her a few years to get out of the porn industry after a mass of debt left her having to pay it off despite her protest of the industry. This would make for a highly compelling story that wasn’t touched.

Linda’s story tells just how traumatizing sexuality can be, and it shows a woman so desperate to leave her insecurities that abuse and showing her body made her think that it was the way to feeling better. This movie is a good overview, but after reading the depth and troubles that Linda had to live with after Chuck and Deep Throat, this story could have been an Oscar Worthy contender had it been carried there. Instead the actors put so much into their work and get short handed by a plot that doesn’t dive into the darkness of the industry as movies like Boogie Nights did.

Rating 7 of 10.

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