LOVELACE

LOVELACE (2013)

Running Time:  92 mins.                      Rating: x Stars/5 Stars

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

Genre: Biography/Drama

Country: USA

Language: English

Distributor: Radius-TWC

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Juno Temple, Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, Chris Noth, Adam Brody, Hank Azaria, Wes Bentley, James Franco, Eric Roberts, Chloe Sevigny, Bobby Cannavale, Debi Mazar

 

I suppose one could criticize Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s new movie LOVELACE because, in its 92 minutes, it fails to cover several important events in the life of Linda Lovelace.  Nonetheless the biopic, which sometimes jumbles the chronological order, is involving in every frame even without our knowing that the title character had hepatitis, was involved in DOGARAMA (about bestiality), and was addicted to pain killers and pot, and had a liver transplant.  For those of us (especially) whose religions or spiritual philosophies allow us to love a person who redeems herself, LOVELACE should be on your movie-going agenda.  The star of DEEP THROAT, which made $600 million with only $1,250 going to Lovelace, is far more a tragic figure than a source of disgust for appearing in a blockbuster of a movie about a woman whose clitoris is allegedly in her throat.  Whatever you may think of this “handicap,” it’s a lot better than having vagina dentate, or having a vagina that sports a set of teeth as in Mitchell Lichtenstein’s 2007 movie TEETH.

Played with veracity by Amanda Seyfried (pronounced “sigh frid”) in the title role, LOVELACE takes us into Linda Boreman’s life at age twenty-one, a woman whose best friend Patsy (Juno Temple) considers her almost a prude, though Linda was spotted bopping at a Florida roller rink.  She is swept off her feet by mutton-chopped Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) who impresses Linda’s religious, Catholic parents Dorothy Boreman (Sharon Stone) and John Boreman (Robert Patrick).  After being slapped by her mother for coming home late (after 11 p.m.), she leaves her parents’ bed and board, marries the charming Chuck Traynor, and is pressured by him and would-be filmmakers Butchie Peraino (Bobby Cannavale), Gerard Damiano (Hank Azaria) and Anthony Romano (Chris Noth) into making a commercial 35mm feature DEEP THROAT, co-starring Harry Reems (Adam Brody). (DEEP THROAT was 61 minutes long and is a tongue-in-cheek [so to speak] comedy about a sexually frustrated woman whose boyfriend introduces her to fellatio.)  DEEP THROAT, which became the subject of obscenity trials, was attended by normal, middle-class audiences because the movie was considered chic.

Follow Peter Sarsgaard’s role as Linda’s husband and you may be convinced to trust nobody, not the person who brings you flowers, who charms your parents and who opens doors for you.  In one scene, Chuck rapes his wife, virtually strangling her, and in the movie’s most repugnant frames, Chuck allows her to be raped by five goons.    All this because Chuck is in debt and Linda refuses to make another porn flick even though her agreeing to this would get the couple out of the red.  When she tells her mother that she wants a divorce, mom helpfully offers that she should obey her husband, adding, “What are we: Protestants?”  Mama will come to regret her advice.

Eric Edwards filmed the story around San Raphael, California, convincing the audience of the 1970s period with its dial phones, telephone pay booths, big fat tvs, long sideburns and aviator glasses.  We root for Linda from the time when she is beaten by her husband, when her parents refuse to take her back, and especially when she comes out with her book “Ordeal,” which tells all and leads her to be an avatar of modern feminism.   Absorbing work, solid production values, colorful.

For further info on Linda Lovelace, you can read “Ordeal” or simply check her out with Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Lovelace

 

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