Lovelace is an absorbing biopic of the infamous Linda Lovelace. The film boasts great performances, although a more nuanced depiction of the title character would have been welcome.
At the beginning of the 1970s, Linda Boreman is living with her parents in Florida. When she meets Chuck Traynor, she is initially charmed by him. When he gets her involved in the porn industry, the fame comes with an abusive lifestyle…
Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman divide the film into two perceptions. Lovelace offers two depictions of Linda’s foray into the porn industry. The first shows a willing participant. The film then flips, going back to show the other side, the underside really, with Linda being abused by her husband. The switch in perceptions is also a change in tone; with the second part much darker than the first. It is a good way to reflect the public and private persona of the title character.
Lovelace is a drama, with welcome flecks of humour. At first the film seems as if it will be similar to Boogie Nights, with its obvious parallel. Nonetheless, this is a more serious story, which is reflected in the tone.
Lovelace depicts Linda as a victim. It is a shame that the film does not go beyond this. That is not to say that she was not a victim, but merely that she was more than just this. It would have been interesting, for example, to depict her later interactions with feminists of the period.
Amanda Seyfried delivers a solid performance as Linda Lovelace. Peter Sarsgaard is most convincing as Chuck, while Adam Brody exhibits his comedy chops as Harry Reems. The soundtrack, costumes and styling really give a feel for the era.
Lovelace is not a comprehensive portrayal of Linda Lovelace. For what it is, however, the film is suitably engrossing.