Directors: Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman
Writer: Andy Bellin
Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, Chris Noth, and James Franco
Linda Boreman (Amanda Seyfried) and her friend Patsy (Juno Temple) sun bathe in Linda’s backyard at her parents house. They flip onto their stomachs and Patsy removes her top strap and encourages Linda to do the same. She declines. Eventually Linda’s disapproving mother, Dorothy (Sharon Stone), arrives and playtime is over.
Later at night Linda and Patsy are at a bar and meet Chuck (Peter Sarsgaard). He owns a strip club, may be a pimp, and is immediately attracted to Linda. They date, he cons Linda’s parents into believing he is a good guy, they marry.
But times at the club become difficult and they need money. Soon they’re visiting New York on a “work” trip where Chuck shows Linda’s “talents” to some acquaintances in the porn industry. She’s hired as their star, Linda Boreman becomes Linda Lovelace, Deep Throat is made, and a “star” is born.
Lovelace is the telling of the same story from two points-of-view. The first pass is largely idealistic. Linda is caught-up in all the action and is a willing participant. She is naive but enjoying the situation. The second pass is seedier. Linda is forced by circumstances and Chuck to do what she does. Everyone she comes into contact with is there to take advantage of and/or abuse her.
Amanda Seyfried is unrecognizable in the role of Linda and completely disappears into it. Unfortunately, the role as written is not a strong character. She is a perpetual victim. A similar thing can be said for Sarsgaard as Chuck. He to is unrecognizable in the role, but in his case he is the perpetual predator.
The supporting cast is impressive in name value and for the most part deliver memorable performances. Stand-outs are Adam Brody as Harry Reems–Linda’s partner in Deep Throat–who is clearly having fun in the role, and Sharon Stone & Robert Patrick as Linda’s parents. Both deliver powerful performances. Patrick also has the most poignant & emotional scene in the film during his conversation with Seyfried over the phone in which he reveals he watched her in “that” film.
Lovelace glosses over the negative parts of Linda’s true life story and personality in order to present an account where she is the girl next door dragged to the dark side of life. In being so heavy-handed in their depiction, Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman–the directors–prevent us from ultimately connecting and caring for Linda.
Grade = C