Lovelace Hits The Right Notes About Golden Era Of Porn

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poster for the fim Lovelace (2013)I had the opportunity to check out the new film about porn star Linda Lovelace titled ‘Lovelace‘. I thought it used an interesting take on the period in the 1970s when pornography went mainstream by giving us two films in one. The first half is like a Hollywood style biography that never goes below the surface while the last half of the film gives us what really happened behind the scenes. The film not only gave a look at the pop culture impact of the actress, ‘Lovelace’ also humanized the woman. I also liked how the film didn’t go after pornography as a whole but did point out the dark and dirty underbelly of the industry in the 1970s. Unlike how Linda Lovelace was exploited during her short stint in porn, the film ‘Lovelace’ isn’t exploitive and gives a true examination of the woman and the industry she popularized.

I admit that I saw the porn film “Deep Throat” when I was a teenager. A friend had beatup video copy. Like checking out your Dad’s Playboy stash, watching the first mainstream porn film was a right of passage. So when I saw they were coming out with a film about the actress Linda Lovelace, I couldn’t wait to learn more about the woman.

Amanda Seyfried plays Linda Boreman who lives with her parents in Florida. Her father is a retired New York City police officer and her mother is deeply religious. Linda meets and falls in love with Chuck Traynor, played by Peter Sarsgaard, who is basically a dirtbag who works in a strip club. It is Traynor’s idea to get Linda involved in pornography. Later we see Linda auditioning for the producers of “Deep Throat”. She gets the job because of the way she performs fellatio. We find out that this the time she is given the stage name Linda Lovelace.

There is a portion of the film showing the filming of “Deep Throat”. A couple of the scenes shown being film are true to the actual film. Then we get to see “Deep Throat” enter the mainstream consciousness. It went viral all over the world. There are scenes of Johnny Carson and Bob Hope talking about the film. Linda is treated almost like a legitimate Hollywood star.

This is when we get the real behind the scenes look of what we just saw. Chuck abuses Linda constantly for any perceived slight. He wants to control her in every possible way. He pimps her out for sex even after “Deep Throat” gets popular. Eventually with the help of one of the film’s producers she is able to leave Chuck and she ends up leaving the porn business altogether.

The last bit of the film shows post porn Linda, now married with kids, who writes a book about her time in porn titled “Ordeal”. Linda is able to move on with her life as a survivor of the porn industry and a survivor of domestic abuse.

Peter Sarsgaard is great as Chuck. His porn stache and perm added some extra creepiness to the character.

Robert Patrick and an almost unrecognizable Sharon Stone play Linda’s parents. Patrick has a great scene when his character tells Linda that he had seen her film. It was a powerful scene.

Hank Azaria is good as the sleazy “Deep Throat” director, Gerry Damiano, who helped change the porn industry by adding a plot and high production values. Chris Noth was good as the mob connected producer Anthony Romano. And was I the only one to catch the irony of Chloë Sevigny being in a film about the history of a film that used fellatio as a plot point?

The only casting that didn’t seem to work for me was Adam Brody as the late great Harry Reems and James Franco with a cameo as Hugh Hefner.

It seemed to me they got most of the period things correct. The cars, clothes, hair styles, and ample use of polyester all seemed correct for the early 70s.

Because this is an ‘R’ rated mainstream movie there is only a little nudity and no pornographic scenes from “Deep Throat” so if that is what you were hoping for then you will be disappointed. It worked for me because I think if they included more explicit sex scenes it would distract from the real story. They didn’t hold back on the scenes of domestic violence however.

I wasn’t sure what I would get with “Lovelace” but I’m glad I got to watch it.

Lovelace (2013) Trailer
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