Dale Robinette
Melissa Maerz
August 19, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Lovelace

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
92 minutes
performer
Peter Sarsgaard, Amanda Seyfried
director
Jeffrey Friedman, Rob Epstein
genre
Drama

We gave it a C

”I hope that people can see me for who I really am,” says Linda Boreman (Amanda Seyfried), a.k.a. Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace, in Lovelace. Well, that’s going to be tough after watching this biopic, which reduces her troubled life to scenes of sex and violence so cartoonish they should’ve been relegated to a hair-metal video. Directed by documentary vets Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Celluloid Closet), the film first depicts Boreman as an empowered girl next door who inspired ”porno chic,” partied with Hugh Hefner (James Franco), and betrayed her Catholic mom (an unrecognizable Sharon Stone). The second half then recasts everything from Boreman’s point of view, portraying her as a helpless victim whose manager husband (Peter Sarsgaard) forces her to ”perform” at gunpoint. Neither side makes room for a more complicated middle ground that could’ve addressed Boreman’s pre-Deep Throat work in the bestiality flick Dogarama, or the antipornography movement that made her a feminist icon. Seyfried works hard for your empathy, with the same naïveté that helped secure Boreman’s rep as the ”sexy Raggedy Ann.” And Sarsgaard is perfect for this role, oozing ’70s sleaze in all its mustache-smoothing glory. But even they can’t add depth to this sad story. By the end, Boreman seems as much of a caricature as the blow-up dolls that bear her Lovelace name. (Also available on VOD) C

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