I have seen both the movie “Deep Throat” and the documentary “Inside Deep Throat” which handles the movie, the impact it made, the government trying to ban it and the Mafia ties of the investors. Though the Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace stands firmly on its ow feet I recommend anyone who’s planning to view it to watch both Deep Throat and Inside Deep Throat first as it really adds to the experience since this movie only shows us the world from Lovelace’s view and focuses mostly on her relationship with husband Chuck Traynor ignoring the whole uproar about the movie and the prosecution of the people involved.
Lovelace stars Amanda Seyfried as the titular character who would surprise the world with her ability to control her gag reflex. Peter Sarsgaard takes on yet another villainous role as the abusive Chuck Traynor. The movie is basically set up in two parts: the first half we see how the world saw this couple, the seconds shows us a behind the scenes of the first half as Linda recollects her past during a polygraph test when giving an interview for her memoirs. We see how her husband quickly turns into an abusive asshole from the moment they get married. When she tries to escape from him and returns home to her mother she’s forced to go back since “God has blessed her with a husband that provides for her”. I guess we’ve come along way since the 60/70’s.
Most biopics take their time and try to cover whole lives of their subjects. Lovelace has a much more narrow perspective as it starts of with a prude Linda in her early twenties when she meets the charming Chuck and mostly focuses on the time they were married with a little time dedicated to the early 80’s when she was living a quiet life as a married housewife and mother of two kids who decided it was time to tell her story and became an anti-porn advocate. It works for the movie, but I do feel that it cheats the audience a bit as it presents a very naive Linda when she goes in to audition for the part, while in reality this girl already had some pornographic shorts to her name with visual titles like: Piss Orgy and Dogarama. With stuff like that to your name a movie about fellatio doesn’t seem all that bad. To be honest, during her audition Chuck did show the producers an 8mm short, but it never is clear to the audience that this was more than a simple home movie between two people.
Despite the narrow scope, Lovelace is an intriguing movie about a woman in an abusive relationship who is forced to do porn basically at gun point, but is also prostituted by her husband. One harrowing scene has her in a hotel room alone with six men who’ve paid Chuck to have sex with her, while she was thinking she had to audition for a real movie. It’s one of those moments that’s not only gruesome, but also demonstrates how naive this girl is.
What’s fun about this movie is all the big names it has collected. Seemingly every speaking part seems to be filled by an actor or actress who’s made a name for themselves: Robert Patrick and an unrecognizable Sharon Stone play Linda’s parents, Chris Noth, Bobby Cannavale, Hank Azaria play the people responsible for making Deep Throat, James Franco is a sleazy Hugh Hefner. Other familiar names are Juno Temple, Chloë Sevigny, Debi Mazar, Wes Bentley and Eric Roberts. Especially the inclusion of Sevigny as a feminist journalist is a bit of stunt casting considering her own experience with on-screen fellatio in the indie movie “The Brown Bunny”.
Most people, or at least the male audience, will probably be wondering if Seyfriend displays her own fellatio skills on camera. This being an R-rated movie the answer is of course no. Everything is either hinted at or happens off camera, which you probably would’ve guessed.
Another thing I liked about this movie is the cinematography and the way it captures the specific 70s look. The image is just the right amount of grainy and very colorful. I loved looking at this picture. While the designers went out of their way to recreate a 70s look in terms of fashion and set design I must nitpick a bit and say that the car that Linda was driving in Deep Throat was blue, whereas the one used in this movie was red. It’s fun to compare the actual scenes in Deep Throat with the reenacted scenes in this movie. I totally forgot Harry Reems’ doctor did blow bubbles in that otherwise memorable scene.
Lovelace is a well produced biopic that could’ve used some more depth concerning the whole Deep Throat aftermath. Instead the makers decided to focus purely on the marriage between Linda and Chuck. A harrowing story, but with a running time of 90 minutes there was easily the possibility to expand the story. Now the movie just flash forwards and she suddenly has a husband and children.