Lovelace

Lovelace

  • Because it lacks depth, Lovelace is not good.
  • As Linda Marchiano, Amanda Seyfried adds emotional gravitas where there is very little. She has several sparkling scenes, the most prominent being when she talks to a photographer about whether or not he has made her look beautiful.
  • Unfortunately, Seyfried is hamstrung by material that pulls back from potential thematic weight. When police officers find Linda running from Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard), Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman do not develop tension or suspense. When her colleagues realize Chuck is abusing her, the directors again opt not to investigate their response. And so forth.
  • Each time Lovelace is on the verge of true emotional depth, it cuts away, never daring to immerse.
  • It does the same in developing characters, at least outside of Linda. For example, when the protagonist appeals to Anthony Romano (Chris Noth) for help, we expect him to turn her away, because we only know him as greedy. When he aids her, we are taken aback and not moved.
  • More problematically, Chuck is not well written either. Near the end of the film, Linda says he could be charming, which is why she was attracted to him in the first place. Only we never see charming; the first time he meets her parents, he is almost pleasant for about two minutes screen time, until the scene’s finale when his behavior is totally disgusting.
  • Here Peter Sarsgaard shares some blame. From his first scene to his last, Sarsgaard shows only one trait: his character is evil. Surely, that’s how Chuck is written and directed, meaning Sasgaard is not most at fault, butย a skilled performer can add layers where there aren’t any. And he doesn’t.
  • Perhaps worst of all, Lovelace’s structure involves too many temporal leaps, both forward and backward. The movie would have benefited from linear storytelling.
  • Yet, for all of that, it isn’t a total failure either, mostly because of Amanda Seyfried’s daring performance.
  • And also because her character is reasonably well written. Linda is the only thing here with any depth.
  • She just doesn’t have nearly enough to save the film.
  • Final Grade: D
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18 thoughts on “Lovelace

    • And it isn’t.

      Definitely has received a mixed response, though I haven’t seen a ton of people loving it. Even I don’t precisely hate it (if I did, I’d give it an F). I just think it lacks the courage to tell an immersive story.

  1. Your review reflects what I thought about this movie. It never delves deep into the problems Linda had and the way it tells the story twice also made me not invested in any of it

  2. Good review. It’s the type of biopic that had so much interesting material to work with, that it’s a huge shame it didn’t even scratch the surface of it. Especially Lovelace’s life, post-porn.

  3. Agreed on all points; a very disappointing film. Felt like the filmmakers had no idea what sort of story they actually wanted to tell. The non-linear structure might have seemed “clever” to them but it cut the heart out of the story.

    • Totally agreed on the structure. It jut made the first version of the tale ring with plot/character holes. Why would Linda make that video with Chuck? Why would she agree to do Deep Throat? Why would she … Well do basically anything she does?

  4. The only constant compliment I read of the film was Seyfried’s performance. It always bothers me more when biographical films are messed up. I feel they have extra responsibility.

    • Agreed. Especially biopics about subjects like objectification of women and domestic abuse. The topics are so important that they should be handled with extreme care.

    • There were a few, certainly. But mostly the movie tries or communicate that Linda didn’t really have many actual choices. She was too much a victim, and too forced into servitude she hated, no matter how many times she tried to get out.

      Unless, you mean the filmmakers’ choices. And yes they made many stupid ones, so this is a skipper. Without question. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I agree that script pretty much fails everyone here. It could have been such a good movie, especially since Seyfried was so lovely. That said the phone call scene between her and Robert Patrick was outstanding.

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