– by Jasmine Amis
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone
For those playing at home (no pun intended) Linda Lovelace was the star of “Deep Throat,” the first scripted pornographic feature film, and arguable the most famous porn of all time. After it’s release in 1972, Lovelace garnered worldwide fame and became the poster girl for pornography.
Fast forward a few years, and Linda had joined a feminist anti-porn movement, declaring she was forced into the film by her violent husband Chuck Traynor, and had suffered years of mental, physical and sexual abuse.
For those who don’t know Linda Lovelace’s background, it’s a compelling biography. Journalist-turned-directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman are great storytellers, at first focusing on Lovelace’s emancipation from her old-fashioned parents and sexual liberation.
Although there are obvious warning signs, she falls in love with Chuck Traynor against a fantastic 1970’s backdrop before landing her infamous role. The film then doubles-back to extend key incidents, showing the full extent of her exploitation.
It boasts an incredibly talented cast, notable Sharon Stone and Robert Patrick as Linda’s strict Catholic parents, along with Chris Noth and Peter Sarsgaard who steals the show as the frighteningly convincing husband-manager-pimp.
Surprisingly James Franco has a brief stint in the film portraying Hugh Hefner, as does Adam Brody, who plays her co-star in Deep Throat, but he shouldn’t have bothered. (Nobody wants to see Seth Cohen get a blow job, ever.)
Amanda Seyfried plays Linda, and as per usual she nails the innocent and doe-eyed characteristics, though the performance is secondary to her ridiculous brown contact lenses that are blaringly obvious and irritating in every scene.
Despite Amanda Seyfried being brave enough to take on the risky role, the biopic doesn’t explore some of the most fascinating traits of the person she portrays.
For those that do know Linda Lovelace’s background, they will notice they do not touch on the fact she had been in several porno’s prior to “Deep Throat,” and a few short years later filmed “Deep Throat II” and a comedy called “Linda Lovelace for President.”
Most importantly, the script doesn’t bother to delve into the many accusations of Lovelace’s close friends and colleagues who claim she was a compulsive liar and her stories were fabricated; nor does Seyfried explore this. She plays it safe as the damsel in distress and doesn’t display the potential layers of her personality.
It’s almost as if Lovelace is the story you want to believe. The naïve girl-next-door who, after a series of unfortunate events ends up in the highest grossing X-rated film of all time? Not buying it and Lovelace doesn’t sell it.