Lovelace – 3 out of 5
Thanks to the internet and how easy it is to obtain pornography from its wondrous utopia, kids nowadays will never understand what porn was. They’ll never know the thrill of stealing your father’s dirty mags or that there was a time when porn was actually something you could get arrested for or something you could watch in a movie theater. Deep Throat changed the world of porn as it became a sensation and pushed fuck films into the mainstream and a step towards our nation not being so damn prude-y. And it was all thanks to its star Linda Lovelace who could do something that was unheard of in its time. How do I put this politely for my more modest and uninformed reader? Um…she could put an entire dick down her throat!
|For perspective, she could swallow that entire car she is leaning against.|
Lovelace is a bio-pic/drama about the life of the woman we all know as Linda Lovelace (played by Amanda Seyfried). It shows how she ended up getting into the porn world after meeting and falling for Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard), only to have this world chew her up and spit her out thanks to Traynor and his controlling (and extremely abusive) ways.
|Lovelace also did a great impression of The Grudge ghost decades before The Grudge|
was even thought of.
The history behind Deep Throat and its star Linda Lovelace is actually a really interesting story. The sheer impact on pop culture that the film had is interesting as all hell (seriously, check out the documentary Inside Deep Throat) and much of what Lovelace says about her experience is interesting as well…that is, if it’s true. The documentary calls into question a lot of the reports that Lovelace has claimed about the film and her relationship with Traynor—for example, she claims that she was forced at gun point to suck some genitals for Deep Throat and that Traynor pimped her out, forced her to commit bestiality and beat her for shits and giggles because of his own money problems (shits and giggles is never the reason to beat a person…unless you’re in some sort of club for fighting…not that I would discuss such a thing). Lovelace, however, does not call into question her claims as the film very much wants you to feel sorry for the woman and realize that she is the victim (I guess that’s why they left out her infamous drug problems—seriously, the movie just flat out skips over that part).
|Yes, kids, this is what porn stars used to look like.|
From a drama perspective, Lovelace is a decent movie about a girl who discovers she made some poor life choices and is desperate to escape. From a bio-pic perspective, the film is heavy-handed and is more interested in making you feel sorry for Linda Lovelace while conveniently ignoring all the terrible things she did during her time as America’s Most Famous Cock Sucker. Yes, that sounds incredibly mean and it sounds like I’m being a chauvinistic man that is belittling the beatings she took at the hands of Chuck Traynor but that’s not the case at all. Was Lovelace a victim in the whole Deep Throat-Gate? Absolutely. The woman was exploited because she was really good at a particular sex act but the film ignores the despicable things she did to herself and tries to make her look like she was 100% innocent to the point of sainthood…and this stems from the fact they don’t acknowledge her well-documented abuse of drugs like weed and painkillers or show her other films she did or even talk about how she went from being Pro-Porn to Anti-Porn like it was the flip of a goddamn light switch. The film even goes out of its way to hint that she was staunchly anti-drug. Call me crazy but seeing Lovelace turn to the warm embrace of drugs to escape the abuse probably would have made her even more sympathetic.
|Don't worry, kids, she's just helping him with his zipper.|
The biggest problem with this film is that the movie lacked an active plot (probably because they were so busy leaving out her drug problems and her few other porn films) and appeared to be more of a collection of short stories that surrounded her life during the time of Deep Throat and when she decided to write a Tell-All book about the shit she suffered. This ends up making the film have a stumbling narrative that easily makes the film drag in many parts and, sort of, makes Lovelace’s story less than interesting.
|Men knew how to dress in the 70s...dress badly, that is.|
|"I'm sorry, you'll have to speak directly into my mustache."|
Despite these issues, the performances are great in the film. Amanda Seyfried was really good as Lovelace and it showed a side of her I’ve never seen her show in any movie (including a very nude side that I wasn't prepared for. I've seen her in too many romcoms so a nude Seyfried was the last thing I was expecting in this movie). As Lovelace, Seyfried got to be a darker, more destroyed character than I’ve ever seen her play and she actually did it quite well. Sarsgaard is decent but easily forgettable as Traynor in the film and the movie gives you James Franco as Hugh Hefner (a fact so cool that I had to pointlessly include it for no good reason at all).
|Sure I don't think he looks a thing like Hugh Hefner but he's James "Fucking" Franco!|
Lovelace had all the makings to be a great bio-pic because the actual story behind it is an interesting one but the film tries too hard to make Lovelace look like an innocent bystander and it comes with a sloppy plot. Lovelace’s story is a tragic one that is filled to the spilling point with drama and hardships that the film could have easily represented and represented well but the movie decided to make her look like she was without flaw and was nothing but a victim of circumstance than a relatable character who finds herself venturing down a bad path she seemingly can’t escape. Even with some great performances, the film is just an average story about a real woman who was in one of the most lucrative pornos to ever exist.