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Lovelace (2013)

tomatometer

54

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 119
Fresh: 64 | Rotten: 55

Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard do their best with the material, but Lovelace lacks enough depth and conviction to truly do its fascinating subject justice.

33

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 22

Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard do their best with the material, but Lovelace lacks enough depth and conviction to truly do its fascinating subject justice.

audience

37

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 13,386

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1972-before the internet, before the porn explosion-Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the highlife when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation-less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive

R,

Drama

,

Andy Bellin

Nov 5, 2013

$0.4M

Radius-TWC - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Lovelace

October 17, 2013:
Amanda Seyfried Joins Fathers and Daughters
She'll play Russell Crowe's daughter.
August 9, 2013:
Five Favorite Films with Amanda Seyfried
Amanda Seyfried began her career as a young model and daytime soap actress before she caught her big...

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All Critics (119) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (55) | DVD (1)

Seyfried, with her huge features crowding her small face, looks like Alice in a very strange Wonderland. But whatever possibilities she may have as an actress are eradicated by the filmmakers ...

September 2, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Linda's feelings are rarely revealed: that's left to the gloomy final act, which feels more like a guilt-inducing postscript than a genuine reveal.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Lovelace" becomes too distracted by industry politics and the cultural context of the film's release to provide more than a snapshot of her life either before or after she stepped in front of a camera.

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: TheWrap
TheWrap
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lovelace bids to whip up hot indignation about an outrage four decades old. Instead, it provokes dismay.

August 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfortunately, most of Lovelace is more generic and familiar, right down to the too-neat happy ending.

August 12, 2013 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This drama from codirectors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman is so respectful of 70s porn sensation Linda Lovelace that instead of humanizing the Deep Throat star, it reduces her to one dimension: victim.

August 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ironically, even a movie about Linda Lovelace's rather sad life uses her more for her body than her character.

June 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
Windy City Times

Amanda Seyfried is a game performer, and the Linda-like freckles sprayed across her cheeks, which all and sundry in the film comment on, are fetching.

April 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Newcity
Newcity

Amanda Seyfried acts out of her skin.

February 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

I understand that movies based on true stories take plenty of liberties, but if those liberties can be blown apart with a five-minute visit to Wikipedia, they went too far.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Other performances may be more gripping in the moment, but the core of relatable vulnerability and flawed humanity Seyfried brings lends the film a lasting resonance.

November 30, 2013 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

By aiming for the audience's sympathy, Lovelace tidies and ultimately silences the star it tries to redeem.

November 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Co-directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman corralled a stellar cast that piles on great performances.

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Yahoo! Movies
Yahoo! Movies

The campy script gives way to campy performances from a plethora of celebrities making distracting cameos.

October 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

Star/co-producer Amanda Seyfried is strong in this 'Linda Lovelace' biopic from co-directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, but she's not quite right, with her gorgeous, goo-goo-eyes looking quite unlike the homelier, less glam Linda.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Rip It Up

Amanda Seyfried brings the mythologised Lovelace to life ...a surprisingly touching, extraordinary biopic. It certainly stands with Boogie Nights (1997) and Hardcore (1979) as one of the few good feature films about porn.

September 29, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

There is little doubt that most attention will focus on the relatively small but crucial role of Dorothy, Linda's mother, played with heartbreaking honesty by Sharon Stone

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's voyeuristic, unbelievable and often shocking as it delivers surprises, twists and many elements of interest, including an effective depiction of the times during the sexual revolution

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's voyeuristic, unbelievable and often shocking as it delivers surprises, twists and many elements of interest, including an effective depiction of the times during the sexual revolution

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

As good as it is, Lovelace oddly avoids further illuminating Boreman, beyond what we already know.

September 22, 2013 Full Review Source: The Sunday Age

It's a somewhat simplistic dichotomy but Amanda Seyfried does a good job managing the contradictions of her character, and her co-stars Sharon Stone and Peter Sarsgaard keep the pace.

September 4, 2013 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Considering the subject matter, this watered-down biopic of porn star Linda Lovelace doesn't seem nearly edgy enough.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

While sympathetic lacks the nerve to fully detail the injustices she suffered at Trainor's hands.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Uncut Magazine [UK]
Uncut Magazine [UK]

[A] dubious, dislikable film ...

August 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

An explicit, depressing study of human sadness that goes beyond the melancholy.

August 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

Audience Reviews for Lovelace

Linda Lovelace's special talent propels her to stardom as she hobnobs with high culture, but her abusive husband casts a pall on the seventies era fun.
This film is structured oddly. During the first hour or so, it delights in all the sex, fashion, sex, riches, and sex, and while it isn't nearly as seductive as Boogie Nights or as a wild as The Wolf of Wall Street, Amanda Seyfried's doe eyes certainly make it attractive. The second hour is dedicated to making us feel guilty about having fun. As a result the film becomes a reproach of the porn industry. This is fine, but the structure of the film seems aggressive and didactic.
Peter Sarsgaard is actually bad. It's shocking, but his Ike Turner impression is cliched and without depth. Amanda Seyfried is perfect for Lovelace, but the film doesn't give her much to play with. She is allowed to be sexy, and she is; she is allowed to be a victim, and she is; she is allowed to be triumphant, and she is. But the beats between these transitions aren't fully explored.
Overall, this film had a lot of potential, but it doesn't live up to it.
April 20, 2014
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

This is one of the sadder and most tragic films I've seen in a while. but that's rather appropriate considering it's about one of the saddest and most tragic celeb stories (at least of the mid-late 20th Century).

What we get here is a biopic of Linda Boreman, better known by her stage name Linda Lovelace-arguably one of the first legends from the Golden Age of Pornography.

The film follows her from her humble beginnings growing up in a strict Catholic home, to her career making performance in the groundbreaking porno film Deep Throat, her eventual move out of the porn industry, and, most notably, her tumultuous relationship with abusive, controlling scumbag Chuck Traynor. This relationship actually coincides with all the other events of the story, well, save for the end which depicts Linda's campaigning against pornography and domestic abuse.

What's notable about the film is its somewhat subversive narrative structure. We get a glossy, 'fun' version of the story: the typical rise, fall, recovery scenario, and then at the half way point, we revisit the majority of what we just saw, only the second time around, we get the 'real' version of events, showing what was actually going on, especially behind the scenes, and revealing just how bad Linda's life unfortunately was.

That's not to say the first half is a cheat. It's gets dark at times, but it mostly shows how much of the world saw Linda and Chuck, and how they perceived things, whereas the second half shows just how unfortunate and mistreated and unlucky this seemingly lucky girl actually had it. To add insult to injury,people thought that when Linda published a tell-all book called Ordeal in 1980 that she was making it up. That's even more depressing.

Here's the thing though: this film isn't actually all that uneven, and the shift between the halves, while a bit jarring, isn't quite as dramatic as it was in something like From Dusk Till Dawn.

Yeah, the film does get pretty heavy and disturbing as it goes on, but I think it's earned. It's fun when it needs to be, and it does a decent job of juggling the perceptions with the reality. I do think that the film could have done a better job of addressing how Linda herself felt about her perception versus her reality. Also, while the film isn't hollow and shallow, I think it could have been a lot meatier and a little more in depth, especially on a psychological level.

The film doesn't hits the heights that Boogie Nights did, but it makes for an interesting companion piece, and together, both films help paint an engaging portrait of the Golden Age of Porn.

Despite the narrative technique, the film overall hits the conventions one expects of a typical biopic. Sure, that's a bit of a downer, but I do like that the filmmaker's didn't get too shy about showing the grittier stuff. Yeah, the truth about some of this is debatable, but one can't deny that CHuck was a supreme asshole, and that Linda definitely suffered at his hands. The real issue is o what degree it was all at.

Amanda Seyfried, though not a dead ringer, is quite good as Lovelace, and this is easily one of her best performances. Peter Sarsgaard is also quite good as Traynor, though the film almost has it too easy when it comes to getting sympathy for Linda, because of course the audience will hate Chuck. Still, Sarsgaard doesn't simply phone it in. He really is great at being loathsome. As Linda's parents we get some fine supporting work from Sharon Stone and Robert Patrick, and then there's Hank Azaria and Bobby Cannavale in some scene stealing work as pornographers. Adam Brody appears as Harry Reems, and , while he's not quite hairy enough, he still does okay I suppose. There's also a quick cameo from James Franco as Hugh Hefner. Odd. But, Okay I suppose.

The film does a great job with the music and the period details, and it's also fun seeing recreations of the making of Deep Throat.

No one will ever truly know exactly what happened between Chuck and Linda, but I'm not sue if that matters. Bottom line: the woman just wanted to be special, and through bad luck and circumstance suffered through a hellacious period of several years before finally getting out and taking a stand, thus laying the ground work for future activism and awareness.

This film ain't perfect, but it is quite engaging, informative, and has some fine performances, so yeah, give it a go.
March 17, 2014
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

The most interesting about this solid biopic is how it presents one side of Linda Lovelace's life and then subverts it to reveal the real, dark side behind all that we were seeing, becoming a moving drama about a terribly unlucky woman caught in a very sad life.
February 4, 2014
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

I liked this, but then again, I like bio-dramas. I remember when this movie was popular, but I never knew much about her. Amazing that her moment in the actual porn industry was so very short, yet she is one of the most famous people from it. This is a solid movie, with a great performance by Amanda Seyfried. This movie also offers a really good supporting cast, with a noteworthy effort by Sharon Stone. I am not sure why this has shown such low ratings. I found it a really good effort...
December 29, 2013
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

    1. Linda Boreman/Lovelace/Marchiano: I had the misfortune of meeting Chuck Traynor. He started out as a nice person and then did a complete 180 and beat me up from that day forward, physically, mentally, and psychologically. The psychological damage will never go away.
    – Submitted by Rachel C (2 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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