Movie Review – Lovelace (2013)

Directors: Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman

Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, Juno Temple, Chris Noth, Bobby Cannavale, Hank Azaria, James Franco

Linda Boreman was a shackled Catholic girl, made to feel guilty by her parents for having had a child out of wedlock. She then meets Chuck, and runs away with him. The two seem happy until Chuck reveals money problems, so he convinces Linda to star in pornographic films, and she ends up making the most famous porno ever – Deep Throat.

My flatmate was disappointed when he found out what this film was about, because he hoped it would be about the world’s first computer programmer – Ada Lovelace. It’s actually about Linda Lovelace. Now, I’ve never seen Deep Throat so I can’t comment on the phenomenon that it was, but obviously it transcended the sphere of the porn industry and Lovelace tells the story of Linda and how a young girl could find herself in that position.

I liked the way the film was shot; it has a grainy quality that lends itself to the era. The performances are pretty good but I’ve always enjoyed the roles that Seyfried has played, and Sharon Stone is unrecognizable. And the films is decent I mean I like biographies and it’s certainly a life worth exploring, and although the explicit stuff is hinted at, it does contain images of abuse and rape, and certain scenes are rather harrowing.

The main problem with the film is the structure. At first it’s pretty standard and straightforward, but although Linda shows some reluctance to porn things change pretty quickly, and I was wondering why. Then a bit later the film flashes forward to show her giving a polygraph test as she’s writing a book about her experiences, which leads to a flashback where we see the way things actually played out. In a tv show this might have been an effective technique, but in a 90 minute film it just made me think that it was entirely superfluous. There was no reason not to show the ‘actual’ events straight away, as the way they did things only led to confusion.

Another issue I had is that towards the end, as Linda is asked how a girl like her ended up in such a situation, she remarks how Chuck was charming at first, yet he’s not charming at all and is creepy from the first moment he appears.

So, you know, it’s a flawed film that has structural issues. I also would have liked to know more about what Linda felt about working on the film, for although she was forced into it she did appear to enjoy it. It’s fairly interesting though, and probably worth a watch if you like any of the actors involved or the story of the movie.


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