Considered to be one of the most famous pornographic films of all time, Deep Throat caused a sensation when it first screened in 1972. The film’s protagonist Linda Lovelace, aka Linda Boreman, instantly shot to stardom, but what really happened behind the scenes is the subject of a new film, Lovelace.
Based on Linda’s autobiography, Ordeal, Lovelace tells the ‘true story’ of the grit behind the glam, depicting the abusive relationship between her and her husband Chuck Traynor, who drove her to star in the film. Played by Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard respectively, the plot follows the couple’s relationship from their initial courtship, whilst she was still living at home with her strict, traditional parents (played by an almost unrecognisable Sharon Stone and Robert Patrick) to their sticky demise.
As soon as she moves in with Chuck, the cracks begin to appear. His domestic violence begins and he starts forcing her to watch porn, learn explicit sex moves, and even pimps her out to friends and complete strangers. He then introduces her to his porn film producing friends, including a slick Anthony Romano aka Chris North (best known as Sex And The City’s Mr Big), and her porn career is launched.
The film is immediately a huge success and she gets to live the high life, attending movie premiers and socialising with the likes of Hugh Hefner, played by a cheeky James Franco. However, as Linda’s fame grows, so does Chuck’s jealousy and violence, until she is forced to leave him and the industry altogether. The audience is then shown Linda six years on, living a ‘normal’ life with a husband and child and battling to produce the book that will really show what happened during those years.
Lovelace is solid viewing, and the star-studded characters are well cast, however there is a dissatisfying feeling that not enough insight has been shown into how everything really affected Linda and the people around her. There are some really deep, dark issues at play here, from domestic abuse to rape and prostitution, but it almost skims the surface of the repercussions of these terrible actions.
Some have argued that despite taking a polygraph test before writing the autobiography, Linda was simply trying to cash in on her fame by writing the book, due to the fact that she went on to make more porn films and wrote two pro-porn memoirs following Deep Throat, so it’s hard to watch this film completely objectively with that fact niggling in the back of your mind.
Lovelace is playing at Dendy cinemas and nationally now.
Lovelace was viewed and reviewed by Sydney Social’s latest contributor: Helen Lear.