You might say Amanda Seyfried digs deep for her latest role.
Hot off her winning performance as the innocent Cosette in last year's Les Misérables, the 27-year-old actress is earning accolades for a far more salacious character—that of infamous Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace, the subject of a biopic hitting theaters on Friday.
Lovelace chronicles the adult film actress (real name Linda Boreman) during the heady days of the porn industry in the early '70s—before there was this thing called the Internet, when porn was relatively still hard to come by.
The film costars Peter Sarsgaard as Linda's abusive husband and manager Chuck Traynor along with Sharon Stone as Lovelace's mother. There's also a host of notable actors in smaller roles: James Franco as Hugh Hefner, Adam Brody as Linda's Deep Throat costar Harry Reems, and Wes Bentley as her second husband, to name a few.
Unfortunately, despite Seyfried's best efforts, Lovelace has failed to please the critics, most of whom gave it negative reviews. Here's a sampling:
• "Seyfried's performance is worth the price of admission. But Linda Lovelace deserved something more," offered Salon, which called it half "a good-times-gone-wrong period fable in the vein of Boogie Nights, The People vs. Larry Flynt or Goodfellas," and half "classed-up Lifetime melodrama."
• "Seyfried works hard for your empathy, with the same naïveté that helped secure Boreman's rep as the 'sexy Raggedy Ann.' And Sarsgaard is perfect for this role, oozing '70s sleaze in all its mustache-smoothing glory. But even they can't add depth to this sad story. By the end, Boreman seems as much of a caricature as the blow-up dolls that bear her Lovelace name," panned Entertainment Weekly, which gave it a C grade.
• "The only (unintentional) pleasure comes from anticipating which scale-paid celebrity will pop up next in a minor role: Adam Brody as scene partner Harry Reems! James Franco as Hugh Hefner! Chloë Sevigny as…Random Reporter Girl! Hey, you get your bliss where you can find it," snarked Time Out New York.
• "Whatever the case, "Lovelace" lacks the nerve to adhere to the standard practice of biography, resulting in a film that purports to respect its subject without fully taking her side," opined Variety.
• On the other hand, The Hollywood Reporter was satisfied with the results, writing of Seyfried: "She gives a strong, credible performance that catches Linda's insecurities and exacts sympathy and regret for all that happened to her, even as she might not seem to completely inhabit the role at all times."