When Deep Throat was released in 1971, no one thought it would become industry's first mainstream triple X. The story was about Linda, a woman born with an only-in-porn medical condition. Her doctor quickly suggests what she can do with that special talent. Ah, the '70s: as silly as skin flicks ever were.
Linda Lovelace became a star, going on talk shows, even debuting her own product line. To many, she was seen as a feminist icon, but her real life was much more complicated. Bullied by a tyrannical husband into an industry that never really cared for women, Linda struggled for years to escape the institution that made her famous.
The new biopic Lovelace has a pretty by-the-numbers script by Andy Bellin. Documentary vets Rob Epstein and Jeffery Friedman directed the film. Thankfully, the cast convinces. Amanda Seyfried is the doe-eyed Linda. Peter Sarsgaard, James Franco and Sharon Stone round out the cast. Headed to the Cineplex to catch the racy flick? Check out these five things to know:
1. Amanda Seyfried Balances Sex and Enlightenment: Before she passed away in 2002, Linda had become an advocate for women's rights, a born again Christian and much more. The film mostly centers around the making of Deep Throat. Nevertheless, Seyfried dons her ever-changing personality as easily as all those sexy outfits.
2. Painful Marriage: Peter Sarsgaard is a ferocious storm of insecurity and oppression as Chuck, Linda's abusive husband. He's sleazier than the porn industry.
3. Sharon Stone Is Back Again, Born Again: Stone is nearly unrecognizable as Linda's working-class devout Christian mom, Dorothy. The former Basic Instinct star makes us understand a mother's concern for her daughter without ever being one note. This is her best performance since her Oscar-nominated turn in Martin Scorsese's Casino (1995).
4. '70s-Period Hefner: As the original playboy, James Franco brims with all the smolder and sass of a very young Hef. In reality, Hugh was already in his mid-forties when Deep Throat opened, but he's always had the spirit of a twenty-something, so just go with it. As he did in Spring Breakers, Franco is better in indies like this than the studio pics like Oz the Great and Powerful.
5. Hardly R: We're not saying a film about the porn biz should push the boundaries of the restricted rating, but Lovelace feels more PG-13 in terms of skin and drug use. The R-rating has more to do with the subject matter. Dirk Diggler did racy with fewer bell-bottoms in Boogie Nights.