Directors: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Writer: Andy Belin
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Robert Patrick, Hank Azaria, James Franco and Chris Noth
Studio: Millennium Films
While Amanda Seyfried has some remarkable moments as Linda Lovelace, she’s just too sweet and pretty to be convincing. The real Linda Lovelace, as anyone who was around during “Deep Throat” mania knows, had a rough, hardened look about her, while Seyfried has a perky loveliness that’s difficult for her to suppress. Adam Brody as Harry Reems and James Franco as Hugh Hefner completely miss the mark, and Ron Pritchard, in his one-line appearance as Sammy Davis Jr., looks and sounds nothing like the legendary entertainer.
It makes sense that the directors chose to end the film in 1980 as opposed to 1984, because any longer and the film would have felt interminable. This does hurt the film, though. The way the subsequent events of 1980 are handled is rushed to the point that it feels amateurish. I imagine the pieces that were cut could have been included had there been a tighter edit of the rest of the film as a whole. The way the narrative is handled is wise – cutting back to show different interpretations of the story – because so many have disputed Lovelace’s claims..
I liked the 70s period detail, and there are some funny lines from Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale and Hank Azaria, but they’re way out of place in such an oppressive, lurid nightmare fantasy depicting all the Boogie Nights-style shenanigans as simply abuse. By swallowing every bizarre allegation from this one deeply unreliable source and making her story exclusively one of victimhood we are infantilizing a grown woman, treating her even after death as a sexless child who never grew up and I found this deeply unpleasant to have to sit through.
RELEASE DATE: 08/01/2013