Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Amanda Seyfried looks ripe to take on the life of Linda Lovelace, the Deep Throat blow-job queen who made porn accessible to 1970s America. Seyfried, doing a 180 from her sweet Cosette in Les Misérables, is combustible in the role. She finds the bright-eyed innocence of the Florida teen who makes the mistake of rebelling against her parents (Robert Patrick and, WTF, Sharon Stone) by marrying Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard), a bullying, abusive entrepreneur. Filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman do a solid job setting up the burgeoning porn scene. But they never make us see how makeshift porn families, or party invites from Hugh Hefner (James Franco), could be seductive to a lost kid like Linda. Unlike the far superior Boogie Nights, Lovelace ignores the transitions and temptations that led Linda into a trap. Seyfried could have acted the hell out of that. Instead, Linda's ordeal, from which it took her years to escape, becomes an ordeal for the audience. Disguised as a cautionary fable, the film wallows in Linda's degradation at the hands of Chuck, hardcore director Gerard Damiano (Hank Azaria) and Mob-financed producers (Bobby Cannavale, Chris Noth). We pity Linda, but it's no substitute for understanding her.
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