Saturday, March 01, 2014
Co-directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (THE CELLULOID CLOSET) follow the dotted line without coloring outside of it, accompanying Linda on a superficial journey from life with her martinet parents in Florida to a quickie marriage to strip-club owner Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) to a starring role in director Gerard Damiano’s (Hank Azaria) groundbreaking porno.
None of it has any flavor, and no attempt is made to understand how Linda ended up the most celebrated porn star of the 1970s. Hell, she didn’t even know how to perform fellatio, and ten minutes after Traynor teaches her to breathe while blowing, she’s in New York City auditioning for Damiano and producer Butch Peraino (Bobby Cannavale). What made her decide on such a radical career move? Dunno. LOVELACE doesn’t say, nor does it pry too heavily into her marriage to Traynor beyond his cartoonish spiral into drugs and spousal abuse.
Have fun spotting the silly celebrity cameos: Chris Noth (THE GOOD WIFE) as DEEP THROAT’s deep pockets, Adam Brody (THE O.C.) playing Harry Reems as a himbo, Chloe Sevigny for two seconds, Wes Bentley, Lisa Gay Hamilton (THE PRACTICE), Debi Mazar, Eric Roberts, and a miscast James Franco as Hugh Hefner. Stone and Patrick actually give wonderfully understated performances as Linda’s folks, and they made me wonder whether this story told from their point of view would be more interesting. Lovelace’s drug addiction and LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT go unmentioned.