To her friends and neighbors, she’s Linda Susan Boreman (Amanda Seyfried, a saucer-eyed cipher), freckle-faced daughter of a religious mother (Sharon Stone) and blue-collar father (Robert Patrick). But after she meets the sleazily alluring Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard), this shy young woman embarks on a sordid path to the spotlight. You know her name: Linda Lovelace. And you know the hard-core film Deep Throat (1972), which catapulted her to stardom and briefly took pornography mainstream.
Of course there’s much more to the story than a lady untangling her tingle: Deep Throat was not-so-quietly financed by the mob, Traynor physically and emotionally abused Lovelace, and she soon left her peep-show career to reinvent herself as an antipornography feminist. But don’t look to this skin-deep biopic to offer any insights beyond the head-slappingly superficial. Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Howl) treat Lovelace like a goody-goody martyr sacrificed on the altar of smut (“You made me look beautiful,” she coos to a creepy shutterbug) and revel in sex-negative, little-girl-lost sentimentality throughout. The only (unintentional) pleasure comes from anticipating which scale-paid celebrity will pop up next in a minor role: Adam Brody as scene partner Harry Reems! James Franco as Hugh Hefner! Chloë Sevigny as…Random Reporter Girl! Hey, you get your bliss where you can find it.
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