I was looking forward to this movie as there was a lot of controversy surrounding the life of Linda Lovelace, the movie that made her famous in addition to this film as well. Lovelace centers around Linda Lovelace of course, her rise to prominence and the trials she faced along the way.
The story itself is pretty interesting, unfortunately the way the story is told has some problems… The filmmakers should’ve relied on the drama of the events themselves to be enough, instead there are some timing tricks tried out that fall a bit flat. For example, the same series of events during the initial story set up is told twice – once in a way that shows sort the happy-go-lucky version of the events and then a second versions is told where Lovelace is getting beat up and abused throughout. I understand the idea but the execution of it comes off very clunky and drawn out.
The story has plenty of meat to it with compelling characters and the most successful independent film ever as something of a backdrop (Deepthroat cost around 20K to make and grossed over $600M, Lovelace was paid $1,250 for her trouble). And Lovelace herself is an intriguing person who, after changing the world of porn forever went on to leave the industry, condemn it and write a book about her experiences, she has since passed away due to a car accident.
Something else that gets in the way is how the film is directed. There were some odd moments where the music seemed out of place, the way the timeline jumps around is a little confusing and there are some issues with the lead and her performance…
Normally I think Amanda Seyfried is a decent actor in certain roles. This isn’t one of her better performances. She’s very one-note for most of the time she’s on screen (kind of like a deer caught in headlines) and when she does have to dig deeper into more complex emotions, it seems like she has to force herself to get there without it coming naturally. Lindsay Lohan was originally supposed to play the lead, it would’ve been interesting to see how she did it. Seyfried’s portrayal just isn’t very powerful or passionate, rather devoid of authentic emotion mostly. The support is quite good though with Peter Sarsgaard as her abusive, self-serving husband, alongside Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, Chris Noth, Bobby Cannvale, Hank Azaria, Chole Sevigny, Debi Mazar, Eric Roberts, and James Franco as Hugh Hefner.
It’s worth seeing the film just to learn more about the backstory to the making of Deepthroat, but other than that, I wouldn’t go out of your way to see it as the word “meh” comes to mind when figuring out how I feel about it.
reviewed by Sean McKnight