Chid Reviews

Lovelace - 2013

Netflix is an American provider on on-demand streaming media content. The library of films/episodes/streaming content available on Netflix US as of this week is 9,816.

Chid chose Lovelace. Sometimes self-aware robots make horrible mistakes.

Lovelace is not a clever misspelling of incendiary My Bloody Valentine LP, Loveless. DO NOT BE FOOLED. Instead, is film of true story of adult film actress of 1970's.

Structure is first problem. Film begins with much joy. Linda Lovelace is young, attractive teen with sad story. Moving from New York to Florida to escape life of misery (This is bad parenting decision—do not attempt in real life).

Film follows classic human patterns of courtship—young Linda falls for secret strip-club-cum-brothel-master, Chuck Traynor, and gets married to him post kitchen oral sex with parents in next room.

Linda is somewhat coerced into porn world by Chuck in order to pay his legal bills. Only film—which is told chronologically to this point—abruptly cuts back in time and displays many instances of violence (physical/sexual..etc.) that Linda endured. Wedding day of joy? Wedding day of rape! Discussion at diner? Discussion at gunpoint! Etc. Many scenes which previously ended abruptly are extended after the fact.

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But what is need to withhold information from these scenes other than for shock? POV of film is Linda's retrospection from polygraph she is administered by potential memoir publisher. Would she not know these things happened as they happened? Is confusing decision in editing and direction. One of many.

Film is tonally confused throughout. Traditional rise-and-fall story in compressed timeline, where rise occurs without happiness and fall is brutal. Not poorly acted enough to be comical. Not examined seriously enough to be taken seriously. Film exists in gray area between paint-by-numbers showbiz drama and Lifetime original movie.

Linda makes attempts to escape Chuck Traynor, who pimps her to group of five men to teach her a lesson. Linda makes other attempts to escape Chuck Traynor, who knocks her down in middle of street in front of police who recognize her and say "oh, gee, I seen that lady do sex things!! Can I get her autograph!?!?!"

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Dramatic climax of film occurs with Linda staring blankly at nothing while in bathtub, smoking cigarette. Chuck is beaten by mafia and told to stay away from her. Linda's escape comes at the hands of other men of power, not her own. Even if true, somewhat diminishes strong, independent woman message film attempts to deliver in third act.

Final scenes are of Linda reformed, with new husband and child. Linda, writing tell-all memoir and setting record straight on Donahue. Film awkwardly superimposes actress, Amanda Seyfried into original Linda Boreman appearance, where Linda retells entirety of film for benefit of Donahue studio audience (but not viewers of film, who have just watched events she describes).

By then, score is blaring happiness music. Much has been overcome. Linda makes point that she was only a porn actress for three days, and that this should not define for rest of her life. This is over thousands of sweeping violins, singing song of extreme happiness. This is heart of film! Except, if this is true, why did Chid watch last 90 minutes which were solely about her life in/around pornography? Very problematic storytelling.

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Title cards at very end inform viewers that Deep Throat the film made over $600 million. Linda earned $1,250. And also that Chuck Traynor went on to marry (and probably abuse) other porn actress, Marilyn Chambers. What is point? Hasn't Linda suffered enough?

Inconsistent film. Many minutes wasted.

Grade: Very below average