I am of the age that I can recall when the whole “Deep Throat” cause-celeb was very much in vogue.
Talk-show king Johnny Carson and Bob Hope joked about it. Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner, played by James Franco, applauded it, and may have even had a one-nighter with the actress, Linda Lovelace. Actor Sammy Davis, Jr. raved about it.
“Deep Throat,” was significant for more than its subject matter, a woman with a unique talent for performing fellatio. It was the first fully-scripted adult film ever made, and helped move porn closer to mainstream film-making.
Amanda Seyfried Leads NY Premiere
Lovelace was also an unwitting leader of the sexual revolution, which began in earnest after the advent of modern birth control in the 1970s.
The movie opens with period music, sharing many of the same elements that made Steven Soderbergh’s recent HBO movie “Behind The Candelabra” so enjoyable.
The early ’70s, despite looking as grim as it was portrayed in movies like “Boogie Nights,” certainly produced a huge number of colorful characters.
Lovelace, aka Linda Boreman, lives with her fanatically religious parents, a one-note Sharon Stone and very strong Robert Patrick. She meets Chuck Traynor (Sarsgaard), and sees him as a way to escape her domineering parents.
She eventually explains to him that she bore a child and her mother arranged for a speedy adoption, which explains her somewhat somber mood and evidences a much wilder streak.
Her constant friend Patsy, who quickly sees through him, is essayed by a very strong Juno Temple. But Traynor finally convinces her to move in with him and discovers her particular talent, while introducing her to all sorts of sordid sexual activities.
He shares her ability with two associates in the porn-business, played by Hank Azaria and Bobby Cannavale. Before long, the movie, “Deep Throat,” is conceived and becomes a national sensation.
It cost just $60,000 to make and went on to gross more than $500 million.
The movie is based on her eventual memoir, “Ordeal.” She had to take a lie-detector test from the publishing company before she even set about writing it. It became a national best seller and a major appearance on “The Phil Donahue Show” (remember him?) is faithfully re-created.
Despite the publicity and fame, her life became a tragic story.
Amanda Seyfried Up For Nudity in ‘Lovelace’ (nsfw)
Traynor reportedly forced Lovelace to make the movie and abused her throughout the marriage. But in the biopic, she willingly participates and shares in the success. Despite the national attention and media visibility, she finally escapes from Traynor and becomes deeply religious herself.
The movie is helmed by two directors, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and while excellent, it’s almost like two parallel stories on the same subject.
This is the second major role Sarsgaard has had this summer; Woody Allen’s brilliant “Blue Jasmine,” which also features Cannavale is the second, and he is outstanding in both.
Seyfried, who most recently starred in “Les Miserables” and is best known for “Mama Mia,” is simply outstanding. Solid acting can often save a so-so script and that’s what happens here.