Does a Lovelace movie review belong on a cult movie blog?
When I started this blog, one thing I was determined to do was stay on topic and on course, so doing a Lovelace movie review could easily be seen as straying off course. There’s no way I can say that Lovelace is a cult movie, although it might one day fall into that category. However since it is the story of Linda Lovelace, star of arguably the most famous porn film ever. A film that would be the first porn film to cross over and find mainstream success, Deep Throat.
Deep Throat fits the criteria for cult and exploitation in almost every way. It was never supposed to be as popular as it became. Likewise the story of it’s creation, and it’s stars rise and fall, beats any other exploitation film’s backstory that I have ever heard. Thus I believe that the Lovelace movie deserves a place here.
Lovelace movie review-synopsis
Lovelace stars Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace. It also stars Robert Patrick and Sharon Stone as Linda’s religious, conservative parents, James Franco as Hugh Hefner, and Peter Sarsgaard, as Lovelace’s husband. It also has a supporting cast that includes Eric Roberts, Debi Mazar, and Chloe Sevigny.
The film is the story of Linda Lovelace and the making of Deep Throat, but it is more the story of abusive relationships, and the gravity that holds women in them. Lovelace is told predominantly Linda’s viewpoint, and many of the “facts” about the abuse have been disputed. Still, no matter how accurate the story, a compelling story it is nonetheless.
The story is broken into two major parts. Both tell the same basic story, but from a slightly different perspective and with different amounts of information released First we are introduced to Linda and her conservative religious family. We follow her as she meets and then marries Chuck Traynor. Falling into financial problems, Chuck convinces Linda to perform in an adult film. This film became Lovelace.
Deep Throat becomes a huge hit, and soon the couple are the talk of the town. They appear at private showings and even meet a young Hugh Hefner. However, cracks are starting to show, as Chuck appears to be jealous, more of Linda’s fame than her sexual partners. There’s also hints that he has borrowed a little too deeply from the producers of Deep Throat.
The second part of Deep Throat tells roughly the same story, but gives us more info about Chuck and Linda’s life. Information based on Linda’s account of their relation ship and from her book Ordeal. This time we see Chuck’s proclivity to violence early on in his marriage. We also see how controlling he is of Linda, both in public and private. The audience is shown where Linda’s bruises are from, and we see Chuck force her into prostitution that is basically gang rape.
The film ends as Linda has published her book Ordeal, and is actively working as an anti porn crusader. She reconciles with her family, who accept their part in Linda Lovelace’s creation. Before the final credits role, we are updated as to the whereabouts of the central characters. Both Linda and Chuck sadly passed away in the early 2000s, so the whole truth will never be known about Deep Throat and Linda Lovelace.
Lovelace movie review, my thoughts
Lovelace was an enjoyable watch, but it did have some flaws. The film was based almost entirely on Linda Lovelace’s account of what happened, thus you have to remember it is a one-sided story. Many of Linda’s claims, especially surrounding her being forced into doing porn, are disputed by people involved in the film. However most people do agree that Chuck Traynor was an abusive husband, but that Linda willingly participated in Deep Throat and her other porn ventures.
It is also a very shallow film and never digs too deep into Linda’s life and career other than the abuse. It never mentions her other forays into porn and seems to claim that Deep Throat was her only porn experience. Lovelace never mentions her foray into more degrading porn including bestiality. Linda has herself admitted that it was her in the film, so it is a known fact. One can assume the film makers knew adding this would have made it harder to see Lovelace as a sympathetic character.
Linda Lovelace also appeared in a sequel to Deep Throat. While sequels are mentioned as being in the works, it is heavily implied that she retired from porn completely after Deep Throat. Once again, we can only assume it is to paint Lovelace in a more sympathetic light. Since Lovelace isn’t a documentary, you can’t fault them, but it does make the film more of a fluff piece, than if it was a bit more factual when it comes to documented facts.
Still Lovelace is a good film, even if it could have been a bit deeper. It has an excellent cast and a wonderful 70s soundtrack. Seyfried makes a wonderful Linda Lovelace, and she deserves a lot of credit for not copping out on the nude scenes. There is some internet whining about her not being willing to do full frontal, but come on! This is not an actual porno, so there was no need to go beyond topless. However not going topless would have made this little more than a Lifetime move
I have never been a huge fan of Seyfried, I have seen her in a couple of movies and neither role was very demanding. Before this Lovelace movie review, I reviewed her in Red Riding Hood, which I found ok at best. This is a much more deserving role, and she handled it well, showcasing Linda’s rise from naive girl, to celebrity, and finally to wife and mother. It is the performance of her young career so far.
James Franco was toned way down for Hugh Hefner, but he still succeeds in making Hef appear more sleazy than he does in real life. That goofy smile is still there, but he does try to control it at least. I’m not a fan of Franco, but this was a good role for him and he didn’t blow it at least.
Sharon Stone, no longer the young sex symbol from Basic Instinct, tackles the role of Lovelace’s devout mother. Stone gives a great performance, showing off what it was that made her famous. Ok, maybe it was her vagina that made her famous, and she didn’t show that, but she did show that she can still act.
Lovelace movie review final thoughts
Anyone with any interest in Deep Throat should give Lovelace a look. While it is a somewhat glossed over version of the event’s it is probably as close as we will ever get to knowing what went on. For those looking for a sleazy sex fest, you will probably be a bit disappointed. It does feature the beautiful Amanda Seyfried topless in multiple scenes, but it never sinks into being a sleaze fest.
With the subject matter of the film some nudity and sex were needed, and any Lovelace movie review can’t help but mention it. Anyone with a desire to see Lovelace should not be offended by it. Seyfried is gorgeous, and I know there are people who have been waiting to see her nude. They won’t be disappointed. I was slightly bummed that we didn’t get to see Debi Mazar nude, as I really thought the film was headed there.
Lovelace didn’t do enough to make it a really important film, but it’s far from a bad film. If you have any desire to know more about Linda Lovelace and Deep Throat, or just some time to kill, pick up Lovelace, and thanks for reading my Lovelace movie review.
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