Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'Lovelace' goes too far

Lovelace (R) (92 min.) — Linda Lovelace was the first porn celebrity, the uniquely gifted, girl-next-door star of Deep Throat, a cultural phenomenon when released in 1972. Amanda Seyfried gamely impersonates the XXX legend in Lovelace, a resistible work of trash art with a few guilty pleasures nonetheless.

Lovelace is the most conventional feature film that award-winning documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman have made, and their discomfort shows. The movie's episodic nature, the fits and starts of its drama, are signals that recreating reality isn't their strongest suit. Linda's celebrity, forced upon her by a domineering, abusive husband, is worth examining not exploiting like this.

The good news for fans of overacting is how Peter Sarsgaard plays the husband, Chuck Traynor, working the '70s perm and mustache, snake-eyed and oozing shady intentions. Chuck won't hesitate to literally pimp out Linda, even after she's a household name. His desperation for success by proxy is toxic, and Sarsgaard digs every degrading moment of playing it.

Lovelace takes the mildly interesting approach of telling the publicly perceived story of Linda Lovelace in the first half, then retelling it from her intimate perspective, intimidated by Chuck and shunned by her parents. The movie works better as a Boogie Nights replica than a reworking of Star 80. Seyfried's sunny sexuality carries the former, while her saucer-eyed victim makes the latter more of a drag.

Epstein and Friedman's documentary instincts eventually take over, leading to an extended recreation of Phil Donahue interviewing Linda in 1980, then remarried and expressing her efforts against pornography and domestic abuse. Burned bridges are repaired. As often happens with biopics, juicy late-life material is left to title cards.

The pleasures of Lovelace are in its casting choices, allowing a brio trio like Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria and Bobby Cannavale to sleaze up a pivotal scene, and an unrecognizable Sharon Stone to go full Jessica Lange as Linda's shamed mother.

By the time James Franco smirks up Hugh Hefner hosting a Deep Throat party at the Playboy mansion, Lovelace's spot in ham-fisted Hollywood lore is reserved. C+ (Veterans 24 in Tampa)

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

     
     
Comments
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Published: 06/20/18

Sports on TV/radio for Wednesday, June 20

TODAYBaseballDodgers at Cubs2 p.m.MLBMarlins at Giants3:30 p.m.FSFMariners at Yankees7 p.m.MLBRays at Astros8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMCollege baseball, World SeriesOregon State vs. North Carolina7 p.m.ESPNGolfPGA Professionals Championship6:30 p.m.GolfHor...
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘Big’ returning the theaters in July

‘Big’ returning the theaters in July

We've been talking a lot about the 1988 movie Big lately here at Stuck in the '80s. First, we told you five things you didn't know about the Tom Hanks classic. Then we recorded a whole podcast about the movie.Now, we've learned, Big is returning to t...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Clearwater Jazz Holiday lineup: Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood, Sheila E. and more

Clearwater Jazz Holiday lineup: Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood, Sheila E. and more

Get ready to break out your finest purple during this year's Clearwater Jazz Holiday.A night celebrating Prince, led by proteges Sheila E. and Morris Day and the Time, will be among the highlights of this year's 39th annual Jazz Holiday, Oct. 18-21 i...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Candidates rush to fill void left by Murman’s withdrawal from District 7

Candidates rush to fill void left by Murman’s withdrawal from District 7

TAMPA – The chance to run for an open seat on the Hillsborough County Commission doesn't come along often.That might explain why there are now 10 wannabe commissioners vying for the countywide District 7 seat.Democrat Mark Nash became the ...
Published: 06/19/18
SoundBytes: Alice in Chains, David Sedaris, Israel Houghton and more

SoundBytes: Alice in Chains, David Sedaris, Israel Houghton and more

— Alice in Chains are heading back out on the road, and they're coming to Orlando. They'll play the House of Blues on Oct. 27. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.— Gospel great Israel Houghton is coming to the Straz Center on Oct. 12. ...
Published: 06/19/18
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Coco Montrese on St. Pete Pride, the Pulse shooting and compassion from police

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Coco Montrese on St. Pete Pride, the Pulse shooting and compassion from police

Get ready for St. Pete Pride featuring a performance by Coco Montrese.
Published: 06/19/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Wednesday

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Wednesday

Editors' picks for June 20.
Published: 06/19/18
George Lopez, Cedric the Entertainer, more bringing Comedy Get Down tour to Tampa

George Lopez, Cedric the Entertainer, more bringing Comedy Get Down tour to Tampa

They're back.
Published: 06/19/18
Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Everything you need to know about St. Pete Pride 2018.
Published: 06/19/18