Thursday, August 22, 2013

Movie Review: "Lovelace" (2013)

Movie: "Lovelace"
Director: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
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This movie explores the life of Linda Lovelace, a woman who was plucked from a conservative homestead in the suburbs, married the wrong man, and briefly became the world's most famous adult movie star.

This movie tells the life of Linda Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried) in two ways. First, it portrays the glamorous side of her stint in the adult film industry, as glamorous as that could be. Linda and her husband/manager Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) seemed fairly happy together, until Chuck got arrested for running a brothel out of his bar/strip club. When money was tight, Chuck suggested that Linda go to an audition for an acting gig, but it turned out it was not for your ordinary movie: Linda was auditioning for the star role of what has been now proclaimed as the world's most successful hard core adult film. Her life got quickly turned upside down with incoming fame, ritzy parties, recognition, requests for more films, and lots and lots money.

It stops in the middle of the film and re-tells the same story from a different, more accurate perspective. Linda was not so much a willing participant in her own life, her marriage, or her "acting" career. Her husband Chuck was essentially her pimp, an abusive alc0holic and dr*g addict who forced her to sleep with men for money, and nudged her at gunpoint in the direction towards p*rnography. When she got out of line or said something he didn't approve of, Chuck beat her and threatened her life. Instead of having a social life, Linda was kept inside, virtually void of friends or acquaintances, unless Chuck allowed it. While very successful in her role as Linda Lovelace, she was in the adult film industry all of 17 days (so says this movie), yet barely saw a dime from the hundreds of millions of dollars it produced over the years. After she managed to get away from Chuck and the abusive marriage they had, she went on to remarry and became Linda Marchiano, and penned an autobiography of her life and experiences called "Ordeal."

This was an alright film. The choice to do a double viewpoint story line back-to-back is interesting, and almost wants the audience to enjoy the glamour the first section of the film offers. Then, it takes the audience back through a more troubling viewpoint and makes them feel like crap that they enjoyed it in the first place. We know a lot of what's being said in this film may or may not be accurate because there are plenty of differing opinions on Lovelace and the actions she took during and after her stint as an adult film star. As a movie, it does draw viewers in and makes them think about the exploitation of women in the adult film industry, past and present. It makes the connection that dr*g and alc0hol use, coercion, and abuse and violence often go hand in hand with the adult film industry, and yet it still remains one of the highest grossing industries in the United States every single year. She often flip-flopped on her viewpoints throughout the rest of her life, but worked as an anti-p*rngraphy activist for some years. Linda Marchiano died in 2002 from injuries sustained after a car accident.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 53%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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