The format of Lovelace, which is designed to reflect the way in which Linda Lovelace told her life story, is a very good way to portray her tale. The idea is that we get the “positive” version of the adult movie star’s life, how she became so famous, the mega-fame that followed her appearance in Deep Throat, and then the plateau afterwards.
This is then followed by the second part of her story, which shows the more negative aspects to her life, including abuse, assault and other nasty moments for anyone to go through. It’s designed to be conflicting, in an attempt to represent the conflict in stories that Linda Lovelace has given herself, but unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like it represents that enough.
This isn’t down to the actors though, who portray their respective characters very well. Amanda Seyfried is great as Lovelace and portrays the tortured actress very well, demonstrating the spilt in her life and story. Peter Sarsgaard arguably has more drama to express with his role as the controversial lover of Lovelace and, if stories are to be believed, the tyrant behind most of the horror she befell. He plays Chuck expertly and shows why he is such a go to actor for character roles and drama.
The movie is full of a great supporting cast too, from James Franco to Sharon Stone, each giving weight to a story that is interesting and worth telling. Unfortunately, it never feels like it is doing the story justice. This is a story of success and tragedy, which was conveyed by the titular character, in real life, in two very different ways. The movie does try to express this but fails to show enough of a difference or be too clever with the contradictory elements of the story.
There are moments where it works. The scenes involving Hugh Hefner are an example of when it is most effective, but the film fails to deliver this consistently and it falls more in line with the tragic side of the Lovelace story than the positive one that gave her fame.
It doesn’t help that there is a solid documentary that does the story of Linda Lovelace more justice than her own biographical drama does. Inside Deep Throat presents both sides much more objectively and is a more accomplished and detailed than this movie is.
Overall, Lovelace is a good attempt at representing a tragic figure in the entertainment industry. Considering the story has been presented in two distinct ways, from two very different views, the film should be able to demonstrate this better. Unfortunately, great casting and acting aside, it doesn’t really do the actress’ story justice.
Rating – 2.5
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