Dir: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, 2013
The story of porn star Linda Lovelace will always be a contentious one.
Was she really forced into doing those films or was she a willing participant?
Did she say the stuff she did out of regret for her former career or was she telling the truth?
The truth is we’ll never know because there are so many conflicting reports and opinions that to get a clear cut picture is nigh on impossible.
Lovelace is based on the erstwhile pornstar’s book, Ordeal. In the book, she alleges that her husband, Chuck Traynor, forced her to perform in Deep Throat and regularly beat her, adding that if she stopped performing he threatened to shoot her.
The film (photographed with a grain, reminiscent of the era’s film stock) depicts Lovelace as a sweet and innocent, naive young girl with no experience of sex or boys. It, basically, treats the words in her book as gospel but doubt has been cast over the veracity of her statements which the film ignores.
Drama makes for great viewing and the more salacious and harrowing, the better the box office receipts.
It’s no surprise that the film doesn’t show both sides of the story or present a balanced view of things. There’s a sense of exploitation, here, as though the movie is revelling in the tragic life of Linda Boreman/Lovelace. Directors Friedman and Epstein miss no chance to display its star, Amanda Seyfried’s rather nice bosom.
A lot has to be said about the CG effects in the film. To promote Ordeal, its author appeared on Phil Donahue’s chat show. The filmmakers use the genuine footage with Seyfried edited and superimposed on to it. Unfortunately, it’s poorly done and stands out a mile off, ruining the intended effect.
Before Deep Throat, Lovelace performed in several pornographic “loops”, or “stag films”. However, the most notorious of these was Dogorama (aka Dog Fucker); a hardcore bestiality short involving the famous porn star and a German Shepherd.
Despite her denial of the film’s existence, Dogarama was widely seen and prints of the “loop” were easily located and distributed between collectors.
Yet, the people involved in the making of the short have gone on record saying that Lovelace willingly did those acts. The film, completely, bypasses this point in her “career” and ignores her later films such as Linda Lovelace For President.
Epstein and Friedman’s film doesn’t celebrate the titular star’s life, just merely wallows in its misery.
Flawed and biased, a real warts and all biopic would have been so much better.
The documentary, Inside Deep Throat, is a much more enlightening and fascinating look into a legend.