Somewhere in Lovelace there’s a compelling story of abuse, antiquated husband-wife tropes, porn and finally, empowerment. That movie, however, isn’t on screen, as Lovelace can’t decide whether it’s sexy, cautionary or sincere.

In the early 1970s, Linda Boreman (Amanda Seyfried) is living miserably with her parents in Miami after a move from The Bronx. Then she meets Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard), and Sarsgaard in a movie about porn can only mean one thing: A trip to Scumbagville. 

Traynor more or less sells Linda to pornographers, who cast her in Deep Throat. The movie becomes a huge hit, and so does Linda, whose producers give her the last name “Lovelace.”

The movie tells a sort of fantasy version of Linda’s story, then goes back and tells the true story. Or something. Plus, Chuck goes from savior to creep in an instant. That kind of personality happens in real life all the time; in the movies, there needs to be a reason. 

Finally, there’s Seyfried, who appears partially nude in a film about a woman who says she was forced to do pornography. It’s like the filmmakers didn’t figure out how to make a movie about porn without resorting to porn tricks. The whole thing is just clunky, and worse, dull.


Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

With Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard and Sharon Stone

CCA Cinematheque

92 min.