Review: Lovelace

A very ‘Boogie Night’ biographical film based on the book and many graphic resources of 70s’ most well-known porn star Linda Lovelace’s life. The main storyline is actually on the domestic violence, rape and abuse that Linda endured from her husband, the pornographer Chuck Traynor. A mixed ambitious film that falls short on many levels, and Linda’s anti-pornography fight.

The directors of ‘Howl’ Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Lovelace covers the famous Golden Age of Porn ‘Deep Throat’ actress Linda Lovelace’s life from age 20 to 32. From Linda Susan Boreman, to stage name Linda Lovelace to finally Linda Marchiano, when she remarries to live a regular life and fight for women’s rights.

Linda was born to a dominating mother, and a severe police father, in an unhappy working class home at Bronx, New York. She attended a private catholic school and the family moved to Florida after her father retired from New York Police Department. She gave a birth to a child when she was 20, and then picked up by Chuck while she was volunteer dancing on a roller skating stage. Chuck forced her to move to New York and started as her pimp, making Linda do an 8 mm silent film for peep shows, then the famous ‘Deep throat’.

The movie is mostly a reconstruction of the 70s Hollywood, which has nothing original as the movie is largely influenced by Boogie Nights (1997)’s party scene, plus the unrealistic overly well maintained prop cars. Even-though Amanda Seyfried looks much too fragile and innocent to play this role, and Peter Sarsgaard is way too weak as the violent Chuck, but they are both very good actors and the effort they have put into this movie is respectfully beautiful.

The directing of the couple’s relationship and Chuck’s transition from the loving husband to an abusing monster seems to be missing, but Linda’s confusion of Chuck’s violence, using her as a money tool, exposing her, exploiting her and making her perform while she wanted to stop, her struggle, her escape, the abandon and disappointment and turbulence when she asks her mother(Sharon Stone) for help, are actually smartly done.

James Franco’s playboy Hugh Hefner role is far from accurate due to a large age difference in appearance, but on the other hand, Sharon Stone, playing Linda’s mother Dorothy Boreman, is amazingly convincing. Over all, there is nothing really sexy to see if you were planning a sexy date night, but you’ll definitely appreciate to see Amanda Seyfried’s performance despite of the domestic violence. And there is not much of women’s rights claim either, if you were looking for a proper ending.
– Shumaï Chou