Amanda Seyfried is Linda Lovelace in Lovelace. One would think Lovelace would be a film that sensationalizes her journey from average American girl to porn star to one who rallies against the entire adult film industry. Yes, it does cover all those points with a razor sharp edge. But, as teased in the Lovelace trailer, the film is truly a story about how one woman’s abusive marriage nearly destroyed her and how she triumphed despite it.
Even looking at the Lovelace poster, one can feel that Seyfried is a revelation. She effortlessly plays the woman across the various incarnations of her life. From awkward older teenager living with her parents (Sharon Stone and Robert Patrick), through her early days married to Chuck (Peter Sarsgaard), to her starring in Deep Throat and how it made her a sensation -- and then as a woman who got out of a violently abusive relationship and became a force of nature in fighting what the porn industry does to women.
Lovelace’s story is well chronicled, but what many may not know is how much Chuck was responsible for her pursuing a career in the adult industry. She resisted making sequels and pretty much had it with that industry as soon as it made her a star. Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, from a script by Andy Bellin, have succeeded in making the rare biopic that manages to hit all the right notes without leaving out anything while still managing to bookend a life that deserves the spotlight.
And their Lovelace cast is top notch. Beyond Seyfried, Sarsgaard, Stone and Patrick, Lovelace features Juno Temple, Chris Noth, Bobby Cannavale, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco (as Hugh Hefner!), Debi Mazar, Wes Bentley and Chloe Sevigny. A story of this kind of importance is what compelled all those stars to appear, but it is the film itself that feels as if it has a life of its own.
In many ways, Lovelace reminds us of What’s Love Got to Do With It. Both Lovelace and Tina Turner became famous while being married to men who were controlling and forced them to say “how high” when they said “jump.”
And each managed, extraordinarily, to get out of those horror shows of a marriage and triumph on their own. Sure, each chronicle very different women in very different fields. But they do share an empowering journey, ripe with powerful themes and messages with each serving as inspiration where there could have only been desperation.
Our Lovelace review believes that this is an important film and although it was a struggle to get made, it is a true gift that it has finally arrived.