Film review of ‘Lovelace’: Linda blows cold as Lovelace loses the plot

Deepthroat (1969) was one of the first mainstream pornographic films, and it continues to be one of the highest grossing independent films of all time. In an unsurprising attempt to capitalise on the film’s success, Hollywood has made a biopic depicting the life of the film’s star, Linda Lovelace. Linda has been dead for over a decade, but it seems she’s still being exploited.

Lovelace utilises an unusual narrative structure –  one that fits the story being told. At the start of the film we are drawn into the glamour and the fame – we see the surface of the story and everything seems too good to be true – but beneath the surface lies the turmoil that reflects the real situation. This emerges much later as the film’s structure follows that of Linda’s book, which documented what happened to her behind the scenes and  revealed the extent of the abuse she received at the hands of her vicious husband. Ultimately Lovelace is based on this abusive relationship and very little else.

Unfortunately, all of the interesting details about Linda have been glazed over. The film could have been pushing the message that what happened to her could happen to anyone under the right (or wrong) circumstances, but the writing is astonishingly bland given the controversial subject matter. For the most part we are shown events that offer very little insight into any of the characters, leaving them sadly underdeveloped. It is difficult to comment on the quality of the acting given the writing.Seyfried’s fluctuating accent was her most noticeable attribute!

Linda’s character is essentially the definition of an inanimate object. There are many things that happen to her, but she does very little for herself. Linda states that it was so hard to leave. However we never really see that struggle within her – she never voices her fears or concerns. It is possible that she saw herself simply as a victim affected by those around her and not really at fault for the choices she made, but we never get to know Linda, so one can only speculate.


Dir: Jeffrey Friedman & Rob Epstein; US bio/drama, 2013, 93 mins; Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, James Franco
Premiered November 21
Playing nationwide