Porn star Linda Lovelace has a fascinating story. The actress starred in one major movie, Deep Throat, that made her into a star. But she quickly grew to disdain the industry and eventually spoke out against pornography (the fact that she reportedly made a mere $1,250 after the film grossed some $600 million worldwide might have had something to do with her disillusionment). As intriguing as Lovelace's story might be, the biopic Lovelace, which shows at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, and at 9:55 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, doesn't illuminate her story in a way that will make it interesting to viewers.
The film commences with scenes from Linda's (Amanda Seyfried) teenage years when local sleezeball Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) "discovers" her and convinces her to move out of her parents' house to live with him. Linda is reluctant at first, but Chuck charms her, and the two eventually marry. Chuck begins to manipulate and abuse her, eventually coercing her into filming Deep Throat. The film becomes a cult favorite and even Playboy's Hugh Hefner (James Franco) befriends Chuck and Linda.
While Seyfried succeeds at making Linda into a sympathetic character (it's not a difficult task, considering the degree to which she was abused), the film never overcomes a hackneyed script and often plays like a made-for-TV biopic. Sarsgaard is decent as Linda's creepy boyfriend, but he often comes off too much.