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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Lovelace

November 3rd, 2013

Lovelace - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

When Lovelace was first announced, there was a lot of good buzz surrounding it. The film is a biopic of Linda Lovelace, arguably the first porn star that had mainstream name recognition. However, when it finally hit theaters, the critical response was mixed and it failed to find an audience in theaters. Is it busted Oscar bait? Or does it deserve a second chance to find an audience?

The Movie

The film begins in 1970 in Davie, Florida, with Linda Boreman and her best friend, Patsy, hanging out, going to the roller rink, etc. While at the roller rink, they tell the proprietor that the band needs Go-Go dancers and he asks if they are volunteering. They have fun that night, but also attract the attention of Chuck Traynor. Linda and Chunk begin hanging out, which at first doesn't please her more conservative mother and father. He is charming enough to win over her parents at dinner, but when they stay out past her curfew, her mother slaps her when she comes home. With that, she leaves her parents home and marries Chuck.

Married life for Linda isn't wonderful. At a party, Chuck hits on Patsy while showing off his "Home Movie" (homemade porno). Later Chuck is busted for solicitation of prostitutes. After Linda bails him out, we start to see real signs of how dangerous he can be. He becomes very aggressive when Linda asks what happened. After reminding her she's not allowed to ask about his work, he tells her they need a lot of money, because the IRS is after him. He takes her to Miami where she gets an audition to be in a porno. The director and the producer are first not interested. Linda is too, "girl next door" and the porn industry is interested in surgically enhanced fantasy. However, when they see Linda's natural talent at fellatio, she's hired on the spot, and uses a stagename, Linda Lovelace.

We then see the film, Deep Throat being made. Linda is very nervous about the shoot, but she has a supportive crew, including Dolly Sharp, one of her co-stars. One of the producers, Anthony Romano, is worried about a jealous boyfriend being on set, so gets Chuck out of the way for Linda's big scene. The film is made over just five days and when it comes out, it is a huge hit. Not only did it make a fortune, but it helped revolutionize the porn industry and Linda Lovelace became a major celebrity.

We then flash forward six years when Linda Lovelace is writing a book about her life and her marriage. The publisher wants her to take a polygraph test, because what she says is so inflammatory. We then flash back to the beginning of her marriage and into spoiler territory.

There are a lot of elements in this movie that work really well, especially the lead performance by Amanda Seyfried. Much of the supporting cast are also great, including Peter Sarsgaard, who has to be sufficiently charming and evil with very little time in-between. There are many excellent scenes in the movie, including some very tense scenes, some very funny moments, some emotionally touching scenes. I also liked the format of the movie where we first see what seems like happy times, for the most part, but with hints of something darker underneath, before we see what really happened. That said, the movie didn't come together as a whole. I kept wanting the movie to delve deeper into the subject matter so we could learn more about Linda Boreman / Lovelace / Marchiano.

The Extras

The only extra on the DVD is a 14-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.

I don't have the Blu-ray, so I can't talk about the technical presentation, but the Blu-ray only costs $2 or 13% more than the DVD, at least on

The Verdict

Lovelace had a lot of buzz before it was released, but it couldn't live up to the hype. There's enough that works that it is worth checking out, but I'm not sure there's enough replay value here to make it worth picking up. If you are interested in buying, the Blu-ray is the better deal over the DVD.

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Filed under: Video Review, Lovelace, Hank Azaria, Bobby Cannavale, Debi Mazar, Robert Patrick, Peter Sarsgaard, Amanda Seyfried, Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Chris Noth