REVIEW: “Lovelace” (⋆⋆ out of four stars) bids to whip up hot indignation about an outrage four decades old. Instead, it provokes dismay.
“Lovelace” (⋆⋆ out of four stars) bids to whip up hot indignation about an outrage four decades old. Instead, it provokes dismay.
Amanda Seyfried has a sweet fragility as Linda Boreman, a naive girl whose repressive parents (Robert Patrick and an unrecognizable, de-glammed Sharon Stone) made her lowlife suitor Chuck Traynor look preferable. Peter Sarsgaard is electrifyingly icky as her abusive husband, who christened her Linda Lovelace and forced her to make “Deep Throat,” the 1970s porn blockbuster that capitalized on her combination of exotic abilities and wholesome charisma.
She becomes a media sensation with a horrendous offscreen life but there’s no tragic fall here. The odds were stacked against Linda from the start and got worse every round.
Co-directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (“Howl”) don’t find the variety of tone and pacing this tawdry story needs; “Boogie Nights,” it’s not. Hank Azaria, Chris Noth and Bobby Cannavale play sleazy filmmakers, and James Franco contributes one of his, “Look, it’s me, James Franco” cameos as Hugh Hefner. The film suggests that Linda was redeemed through publicly telling her story years later, but the tone of the piece is unrelentingly grim. Watching “Lovelace” is like viewing a nature documentary with predators chewing up a trapped gazelle.
(R for sexual content, nudity, language and some domestic violence. Through Thursday at Eden Prairie. Opening Friday at St. Anthony Main. Also available via video on demand.)