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Lovelace Reviews

Page 1 of 26
hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2014
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.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2013
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.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2014
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.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

November 14, 2013
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...
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 17, 2013
The fact that the film starts with a great soundtrack, has Sharon Stone and Robert Patrick as an unglamourous (not to mention unrecognisable) middle-age couple and Hank Azaria and Bobby Cannavale in full on 70's 'New Yoik' swing, you'd be forgiven in thinking that this wasn't going to be the next Boogie Nights. That and the poster looked the same and it says 'The best film since Boogie Night' on the poster and ever review I've read has said 'You'll like it if you liked Boogie Nights'. It's not like Boogie Nights at all, it's this idea that actually is key to pulling you in but I can see why some are disappointed. This film pulls you in and makes you want to wish you had a time machine and a handlebar moustache. Then it punches you in the face. This film is about Domestic violence, the most unglamourous of subject matters. This is Linda Lovelace's version of events and even though some of it is inaccurate and a lot of things about her, including the fact that Deep Throat was not her first Porn film, are pretty much irrelevant. Yes she was young and naive, maybe less naive than first thought but then maybe even more naive in her naivety, if that makes any sense? I'm sympathetic towards her, she made a couple of little mistakes and she did not deserve what happened to her. Unfortunately Deep Throat opened the flood-gates to a nasty world that had before been quite small (See Inside Deep Throat). It's an interesting perspective biased on the key figure of what is often overlooked when it is actually one of the major events in modern society. The acting is great, hats of to Amanda Seyfried who has taken a great risk during a successful career. She deserves kudos for this.
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

November 17, 2012
Pretty good movie, although after looking online, it's debatable how much of it is completely true.
Amanda Seyfried does a great job as Linda. Very convincing.
Quite harrowing to watch in places. I knew next to nothing about Linda going into this, so I didn't realise it would be about domestic violence also. Never a pleasant topic, but handled quite well here.
The movie could have gone a little deeper (no pun intended) in a few places. Sometimes the motives weren't entirely clear, but again, with Linda's biography being a bit unreliable, perhaps that's because enough isn't actually known. It is hard to buy her story about being forced into porn when you find out through other sources (not mentioned in this film) that Deep Throat was far from Linda's first movie and she has a lovely back catalogue including beastiality movies.
However, still an interesting movie and cast are excellent.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

August 20, 2013
Deep Throat was one of the most famous adult features that have ever been made. Everyone has heard of it, and this Drama based on film star Lady Lovelace is an entertaining film, but one that just doesn't go in depth with its interesting subject. Lovelace is good, but it needed lots of work to really make it standout. The cast do a fine job at elevating the film's average material and though it is an imperfect attempt at capturing the life of Lady Lovelace, the film does manage to show you what goes on behind the scenes. With that being said, this film should have been much better as well, and though the story is engaging and entertaining, the film had so much more potential of being so much better as well. Despite its shortcomings, the cast elevate the material and make this a good film to watch. Every actor brings something to the screen that makes Lovelace a better movie than it actually is. The film is not on par with the like of Boogie Nights, but it is still worth seeing due to its subject matter. For a subject such as this, a two hour film would have been necessary, but the problem is, is that the filmmakers try to cram as much detail into the story in a short run time. The result is a good movie that shows room for improvement, but is nonetheless an entertaining film that boasts a talented cast and effective performances make this an engaging picture from start to finish. You can only guess how much better the film would have been if the filmmakers would have made a longer film instead of rushing through the material.
Liam G

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2013
It's well-acted and a number of scenes are emotionally resonate, but ''Lovelace'' follows the typical tropes of a biopic and leaves us feeling rather hollow.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

February 4, 2013
Fairly traditional biopic with a good cast. At first we see Linda's life when everything appears to be going well. She enjoys breaking away from her strict parents and achieving celebrity status. Then the film replays certain scenes and extends the story to show the abuse she was subjected to by her manager/husband. Finally, we see Linda as the author of a tell-all memoir and advocate against domestic violence.
Dann M

Super Reviewer

December 15, 2013
Lovelace tells the lurid tale of notorious porn star Linda Lovelace. After hooking up with adult industry manager Chuck Traynor, Linda is brought into a life of prostitution and pornography, starring in the landmark XXX film Deep Throat. The plot has a rather odd structure; the first half shows an idealized version of Lovelace's rise to stardom, and then the second half retells the tale from a darker perspective that shows the behind-the-scenes abuse and violence that she suffered. Starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Robert Patrick, and Sharon Stone, the film has a solid cast. Seyfried in particular gives an especial versatile performance that shows the many different sides of Lovelace; naive young girl, porn star extraordinaire, and domestic violence survivor. However, as fascinating and provocative as the story is, Lovelace tells it poorly and fails to explore the characters in much depth.
themoviewaffler.com
themoviewaffler.com

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2013
In 1970, 20-year-old Linda Boreman lives at home in Florida with her strict Catholic parents (Stone and Patrick). When she meets restaurant owner Chuck Traynor (Sarsgard), the couple quickly wed. Traynor's restaurant is shut down when waitresses are caught turning tricks in the car park so, desperate for money, he convinces Linda to travel with him to New York and enter the porn industry. Porn director Gerry Damiano (Azaria) and his mob financiers (Noth and Cannavale) are won over by footage Traynor shot of Linda performing oral sex and cast her as the lead in their next movie, 'Deep Throat', renaming her Linda Lovelace. The film goes on to become the highest grossing film in porn history, making Linda a household name. Behind the scenes, however, her life with Traynor is far from idyllic.
Early on in Epstein and Friedman's biopic, Linda and Chuck have a discussion about 'The French Connection'. Nothing remarkable about that, apart from the fact that the scene is set in 1970, a year before William Friedkin's hit film would hit theaters. Still in 1970, we see Linda visit a roller disco, a concept that wouldn't appear until the mid-seventies. In a scene set in 1972, a character puts on George McRae's 'Rock Your Baby', a record that wouldn't be released until 1974. As someone with a trainspotting obsession with seventies pop culture, I found these moments particularly annoying but they also tell you the film-makers don't really care about their work. I suspect Lovelace was chosen as a film subject only because every other interesting figure of the era had already been covered. The pair relate her story in such a bland and lackluster manner, it's hard to believe it was ever one they really wanted to tell.

Using her much-disputed biography, 'Ordeal', as a template, the film portrays Lovelace as a mousy victim rather than the strong figure who became a feminist icon in the seventies. The main thrust of the narrative focuses on the physical abuse she claims to have endured from Traynor. There are so many blatant lies in the film, however, that it completely discredits this narrative, making it an insult to women who actually received such abuse.
The film aims for a conservative audience and so twists history in an attempt to distance Lovelace from her involvement in porn. If this movie is to be believed, 'Deep Throat' is the one and only porno on her CV. "I only worked in the pornographic industry for 17 days", Lovelace claims on a chat show at one point here. In reality, Lovelace had several "movies" under her belt by the time she made her most famous film, including bestiality flicks involving dogs. Post-'Deep Throat', she also starred in its sequel and several cash-ins.
The portrayal of her second husband, Larry Marchiano, is completely sugar-coated here, showing him as the factor that changed her life for the better. In real life, however, Marchiano was an alcoholic who occasionally beat Linda. This wouldn't fit in with the film's conservative agenda, of course.

Apart from all this, Seyfried is frightfully miscast. Part of the cultural appeal of 'Deep Throat' was that it featured a star who looked nothing like a typical porn actress. Seyfried is far too conventionally attractive for the role and a scene where Damiano claims she looks too much like 'The girl next door' makes you wonder what kind of street he lives on. It doesn't help that her performance is terrible and wouldn't be out of place in an actual porno. Likewise Sarsgard, who couldn't be a more stereotypical seventies sleazebag. The time-manipulating structure of the film tries to shock us with the revelation that he wasn't a very nice guy but from his first appearance on screen Sarsgard comes across as a supreme scuzzball.
Ultimately, it's likely Epstein and Friedman have cut off their noses to spite their faces by making a film aimed at satisfying the sort of conservative viewers who are highly unlikely to purchase a ticket for a pornstar biopic.
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

January 27, 2014
Ah, finally, we are experiencing the story of noblewoman Ada Lovelace, and how her innovate mathematic abilities would go on to influence computer programming as we know it. Jokes aside, this biopic's actual subject matter isn't exactly as tasteful as you might expect, based on the fact that it's a low-profile independent film. Well, "Boogie Nights" was a pretty effective drama, but then again, I don't know how artistically seriously they're taking this project, because, wow, its cast is so bloated with [u]actual[/u] movie stars that it may as well be considered a major commercial project. Hey, the film didn't cost but about $10 million, so some would argue that these mainstreams took this project because they believed in it on artistic level, but they clearly saved some money thanks to the fact that Sharon Stone, Wes Bentley and Eric Roberts are so eager to just remind people that they're still alive that Stone and Roberts both just starred in the DVD films "Border Run" and "A Talking Cat!?!", respectively, - if you want to use a derivate of "respect" when referring to Sharon Stone's and Eric Roberts' recent career moves - with Bentley playing a minor role in "The Hunger Games". Shoot, come to think of it, it's not like the still-relevant members of this film's star-studded cast have been consistent in doing respectable films, but hey, if this film stars Amanda Seyfried, and if art films are often considered an excuse for actresses to get naked, then for all I care, you can call this the American adaptation of the dramatic, French-language Cannes Film Festival entry "The Pornographer". Oh hey, I guess you can make a hyper-artistic film about the adult film industry, and I really do stress "I guess", because like most people, I didn't see "The Pornographer", although I did see this film, which is probably going to be about as seen as "The Pornographer". Suit yourself, fellas, because you're missing out, both on Amanda Seyfried as a woman who is legendary for professionally getting into explicit situations, as well as on a pretty decent film, if you can get past plenty of problems.

Sure, this story is recognizable, not only because it's based on relatively well-known true events, but because subject matter of this nature has been tackled by plenty of films in the past, and yet, I can't help but feel as though this particular film stands to associate you with its subject matter more, slapdashing through potential expositorily (That's a word, right?) rich segments in its narrative, or at least underplaying characterization. There's only so much attention being put into fleshing out this character study, and while there are enough well-rounded areas for this film to not feel awkwardly rushed, the final product is still about as distancingly undercooked as, of all things, distancingly draggy. Andy Bellin's script goes tainted by some meandering, if not repetitious excesses in material, if not filler, leaving pacing to often go limp on paper, alone, until it finds itself brought to a crawl by atmospheric dry spells. Directors Rob Epstein's and Jeffrey Friedman's thoughtful storytelling has some pretty effective moments behind it, but generally speaking, it simply has a tendency to get a touch too thoughtful for its own good, to where the film is rendered, not so much dull, but lacking in flavor, making it easier to detect the familiarity that further blands things up. Again, this story, in spite of limitations to flesh-out, is recognizable, and too much so, as Linda Lovelace's story is a pretty traditional one, made to feel more formulaic by a blandly conventional plotting structure which reflects laziness through inspiration. Conviction is here, but it's limited, because no matter how hard the film tries in some places, in too many other places, inconsistencies in pacing and formulaic plotting are enough to defuse much of the intrigue out of this promising project, until is falls as rather bland, under-inspired and, well, forgettable. It's certainly not the "Boogie Nights" companion piece that one might expect it to be, but it still proves to quite enjoyable with its meeting every misstep with some inspiration, at least in the selling of this subject matter's notable setting.

The soundtrack, of course, plays a literally and figuratively "instrumental" role in selling this effort, delivering on some delightful '70s pop classics that aren't too clichéd, and capture the style of the era primarily covered in this period piece about as much art direction which delivers on distinctly 1970s set and costume designs. Even visual style helps in selling this film's setting, as Eric Alan Edwards' cinematography all but nails the low-budget '70s grime to its definition, polished by well-defined modernist tastes in lighting, thus making for a refreshing visual style that is both handsome and fitting. Now, style isn't all that terribly sharp, but it is sharp enough to sell this effort's distinguished setting, and that, alone, does a lot to reflect a degree of conviction which brings life to this subject matter's very much, at least conceptually, present intrigue. Again, this film's story concept is too familiar, and not just because it's based on a true story, but it's genuinely interesting, with potential as an exploration of the human depths of various people involved in a sleazy, dehumanizing business that finds itself done a degree of justice by a flawed script by Andy Bellin whose characterization has genuine areas for every undercooked area, enhanced by some thoughtfulness to direction by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Storytelling is kind of limp in one too many places for comfort, but that's likely simply because of a lack of filmmaking experience for Bellin, Epstein and Friedman, rather than a lack of inspiration, as a sense of ambition rarely abates in the midst of the cold spells in storytelling, and it's often matched by true inspiration, especially on the screen. Material is limited, as you can imagine, but most every member of this surprisingly star-studded cast convinces, and that especially goes for the leads, with Peter Sarsgaard stealing the show in his excellently subtly layered, piercingly intense portrayal of the sleazily charismatic, but disturbed Chuck Traynor, Linda Lovelace's brutal husband and pusher, while the beautiful Amanda Seyfried unveils a potential as a talent that she has rarely flaunted before through the capturing of the vulnerability of Lovelace, and how it leaves innocence to dissipate as the pornographic legend plummets, if you will, "deeper" into fame and filth. Seyfried might not be quite as impressive as Sarsgaard, but she and her antagonistic partner both carry the film, though not by themselves, for although the storytelling isn't as consistent as it should be, given the potential of this subject matter, there's enough inspiration on and off of the screen to make the final product a decent one, with very compelling moments, limited though they may be.

In conclusion, inconsistencies in pacing leave the film to either brush through or drag along its subject matter, which is also approached too formulaically for potential to be explored enough for the final product to come close to truly rewarding, but through a solid soundtrack and visual style which capture the '70s era, a reasonably well-characterized script, often thoughtful direction, and a pair of compelling performances by Peter Sarsgaard and Amanda Seyfried, "Lovelace" stands as a flawed, but endearing study on the success and struggles of one of the adult industry's most influential figures.

2.5/5 - Fair
Jeffrey M

Super Reviewer

December 25, 2013
Based on the famed pornographic film Deep Throat, and its title star, Linda Lovelace, Lovelace gives a surprising look at the industry, the personalities, and the cultural impact that the film had. It starts out as less of a critique than where it ends, but finishes with a compelling case for the dangers involved. It's never quite as insightful as it wants to be, never quite as focused as it should be, yet well acted and earnest enough to make it effective.

If there's an aspect of Lovelace that is the most effective part of the film, it would surely have to be the leading performances from Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard. Seyfried inhibits the vulnerable and unassuming demeanor of Lovelace well, while also maintaining a sort of allure to her. Sarsgaard was the most impressive of the two, completely inhibiting his character in to a controlling, nefarious, unstable, yet sly Chuck Traynor, who orchestrated the circumstances of production. The abusive relationship between the two makes for a compelling story, and is the most well done narrative element of the film.

Where Lovelace struggled was on the exact character arc of the title character herself. Her realization of how destructive the life was did not take place until the very end, yet we never fully witnessed this transition. Her personality, in fact, seems consistent from the onset, initially reserved by easily allured. Had the film given us more insight in to her character, and how she evolved, the film would have been more successful.

Overall--not in the same league as Boogie Nights, but a strong film nonetheless.

3.5/5 Stars
SC007
SC007

Super Reviewer

August 26, 2013
The performances are the best reason to see this film. This happens to be in my opinion, Amanda Seyfried's best performance on screen, so far. She should get an Oscar nomination for it. She shines in the role. Sharon Stone also gives an Oscar worthy role as Lovelace's mother. The film is well casted.

The film itself feels unfocused. The structure of the film seems off. The 3 act structure goes like this: the making of Deep Throat, the abuse Chuck gave Linda, and reconciliation. I found all the making of Deep Throat very interesting. The film is not Boogie Nights. It kind of reminded me of movies like Monster, Bad Ass, and the People Vs Larry Flynt.

I recommend the film, especially for the performances.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

July 23, 2012
An entertaining biopic with a strong central performance from Amanda Seyfried, "Lovelace" captures the rise and fall of real-life porn star Linda Lovelace. Beginning as Linda Boreman, living with her strict parents, Dororthy (Sharon Stone) and John (Robert Patrick), it is not until Linda meets and marries suave Chuck Traynor, played completely convincingly by Peter Sarsgaard, that she escapes into a racier world. Taught by her mother to obey her husband's needs, Linda descends into the rabbit hole pushed, by her ever-changing husband. Completely victimized and drawing complete shades of black-and-white, Chuck forces Linda to sleep with men for money and eventually to take part in pornography. Impressing porn star producers Butchie and Gerry played wonderfully by Bobby Cannavale and Hank Azaria with her sexual talents, the next step is producing the famous X-rated film "Deep Throat" with co-star Harry Reems (Adam Brody). However informative "Lovelace" is, there's a lack of distinction between tones. Partly humorous, partly sob story, this adaptation of Linda Lovelace's story is treated more like a made-for-TV movie than an actual feature film. Although the superb ensemble casting helps keep the film on its feet, Epstein and Friedman's endeavor never quite feels fully formed. Amanda Seyfried dominates the film, with spot-on expressions and a sexual freedom needed to nail this role. Peter Sarsgaard plays an excellent villain and begins to ascend to great heights with his role. Some supporting roles are squandered, like Wes Bentley's creepy performance as a monotone photographer or the almost non-existent Chloë Sevigny. Chris Noth as head producer of "Deep Throat" would have benefited from some more screen time as would Juno Temple, whose role as the best friend is swept under the rug. With an emotional performance, Robert Patrick delivers the most heartbreaking breakthrough of the film. Overall, "Lovelace" leans on Seyfried's performance rather than a strong film and screenplay lifting up her performance, but regardless, it never fails to entertain and simply enough, gets its point across.
Wu C

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2013
Such a great cast, but the movie dissapointed. You do however get to see Seyfried's perfect chesticles though.
August 31, 2014
Hopefully people won't blow this movie off on the assumption that it's just about porn, because it's so much more than that. Contrary to many other reviews, I thought Amanda Seyfried did a great job in the role, and the rest of the cast is solid as well. It's not an easy film to watch, but it is definitely a well-made one.
January 14, 2014
Oddly enough I'm not quite sure about this movie. I agree with critics that Seyfried's portrayal of a victimized woman is rather one dimensional and leaves little room to tell about her becoming stronger. It does a good job showing how behind the curtain, things were much different but thats about it. I really liked Sarsgaard's performance though. You spend the first half of the movie questioning all thats happening and then the second half shows you what was really happening. The end did feel a bit strange though. It was just suddenly things were working, thats probably why I'm not sold that much on this movie.
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