Lovelace: What You Need To Know
It’s been quite a year for biopics. In 2013 Steve Jobs, Alfred Hitchcock, Abraham Lincoln, Liberace, James Hunt and even Princess Diana have all been subject to the Hollywood treatment, but where the subjects of these films range from presidents to princesses, the protagonist of Lovelace is something a little different.
The film tells the story of Linda Boreman - better known by her stage name, Linda Lovelace, known better still for her role in infamous adult flick, Deep Throat. More specifically, the film details Linda’s shockingly poor treatment at the hands of both her husband and the adult film industry.
Who’s in it?
Lovelace stars Amanda Seyfried as Linda and Peter Sarsgaard as her husband, the pornographer Chuck Traynor. The film also features turns from Sharon Stone as Linda’s mother Dorothy, Bobby Cannavale as Mafia associate and film financier Anthony ‘Butchie’ Peraino and James Franco as a young Hugh Hefner. Directing duties are shared between Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein, who have previously worked together on films & documentaries such as 2010’s Howl and 1995’s The Celluloid Closet.
What’s the story?
The film begins in 1970 with Linda’s fateful first meeting with Traynor at a roller disco, where her dancing attracts his attention. The begin dating, but before long Linda’s fraught relationship with her parents - particularly her strict, conservative mother Dorothy – reaches boiling point and eventually Linda leaves home to shack up with Chuck.
He soon finds himself incarcerated for organising a prostitution ring and Linda has to bail him out. It isn’t long before Traynor, desperate for cash, forces the young Linda into prostitution. He takes a 8mm film of Linda performing fellatio to an adult film studio, securing her an audition. The rest, as they say, is history.
Who will enjoy it?
Given the film’s adult themes it probably goes without saying this isn’t for kids, or those with a prudish disposition, but Lovelace isn’t so much a film about pornography as it is about the mistreatment of women in the adult film industry. The end credits reveal that while Deep Throat was one of the most popular adult films in history, raking in over $600 million for its creators, Lovelace herself only ever made $1,250 for her role in the film.
More shocking than this though is the domestic violence she is subjected to and the unfeeling, uncaring reaction of the vast majority of the people working in the industry around her. The film depicts the ugly world Linda is forced to live in before her eventual divorce from Traynor and reconciliation with her parents. The subject matter may be grimy, but the film’s message is an important one and it’s a story as worth telling as any of this year’s long list of biopics.
Lovelace is available in stores now