By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Reverent portrait of porn star has nudity, language, more.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive MessagesThe movie makes a strong case for standing up for yourself against bullies and abuse, even at the risk of safety and comfort. As part of the main character's recovery, she gets married and starts a family.
Positive Role ModelsThough Linda Lovelace endures some hard times, performs in a porn movie, and is far from a saint, she eventually works hard to speak out against the porn industry and against the kind of spousal abuse that put her in that place to begin with.
Violence & ScarinessThough the movie isn't constantly violent, the main character is the victim of spousal abuse. Her husband beats her and forces her to have sex with other men for money. Most of this is suggested, heard, or shown off screen, but that doesn't keep it from being disturbing and intense. In one scene, her husband throws her up against a wall. He carries a gun that he fires in anger from time to time. In a late scene, he's whipped with his belt.
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Sex, Romance & NudityLinda is shown topless for some photo shoots. There's strong innuendo and references to oral sex. The plot of the (real-life) porn movie Deep Throat is discussed. A married couple is shown in bed together, with suggested sex (both intercourse and oral), but little nudity is shown. The main character has many partners, though all of them unwilling. A man shows his bare bottom for a camera.
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LanguageLanguage isn't constant, but "f--k" is heard in many forms, as well as "t-ts," "ass," "c--k," "p---y," "bitch," "clitoris," "balls," and "cum," plus "Jesus Christ" and "God" (as exclamations).
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Drinking, Drugs & SmokingDrugs and drinking are prevalent in the world of 1970s porn. The main character smokes pot. Her mom and dad drink whisky at home. There's champagne at parties. Linda is seen taking pills. Linda's husband snorts huge amounts of cocaine in later scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lovelace is a biopic about Linda Lovelace, star of the infamous 1970s porn movie Deep Throat. There's some female toplessness and plenty of sexual innuendo and sexual suggestion, but not much sex is actually shown for a film about porn. Spousal and sexual abuse are also intense parts of the plot, but the movie manages to keep most of it off screen or suggested, rather than shown. Language isn't frequent but is very strong and includes many sexual terms. And there's plenty of drinking and drug use. The movie is very sympathetic toward its heroine and celebrates her efforts to stand up against a dark and brutal world, but it's still not meant for kids.
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Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
A flawless biopic!!
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What's the Story?
After getting an abortion, young Linda Boreman (Amanda Seyfried) moves with her strict parents from New York to Florida in 1970. She tries to live a good life, but then she meets Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) at a roller rink. He whisks her away from her stifling curfews, changes her name to "Linda Lovelace," and gets her a part in what will become the most famous porn movie of its time: Deep Throat. Linda's sudden fame becomes a blessing and a curse, and she finds it difficult to get away from the sex business once she's in it. Worse, Chuck turns out to be sexually and emotionally abusive. Years later, Linda writes a tell-all book, hoping her cautionary tale will help others in her situation.
Is It Any Good?
In LOVELACE, San Francisco-based filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman deliver a sympathetic portrayal of Linda Lovelace, asserting her innocence and good intentions. (It's based on her own 1980 biography, Ordeal.) But as far as biopics go, it's not great. It shies away from too much intense material, and it would have felt skimpy if not for the structure invented by screenwriter Andy Bellin. The first half of the movie is the typical rags-to-riches part, and the second half goes back to reveal the horrors going on behind the scenes.
This device has the effect of deepening the story and stripping away the façade. Seyfried is the perfect actress to play Linda; she's both charismatic and sexy but also squeaky clean -- she brings her own layers to the part. The rest of the cast is peopled with excellent character actors, but the real surprise is Sharon Stone as Linda's tormented mother, who realizes that her strictness did nothing to prevent Linda's fate and may, indeed, have contributed to it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the sex industry. Does Lovelace make it look appealing in any way?
How is sex portrayed in the movie? Is it loving or exploitative? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
In the movie, what was Linda's relationship with her parents like? Were they supportive? Caring? How well did they communicate?
Is Linda a role model? What makes her sympathetic despite the things she says and does?
Was Linda too young to be involved in this world?
- In theaters: August 9, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: November 5, 2013
- Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone
- Directors: Jeffrey Friedman, Rob Epstein
- Studio: Radius TWC
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, nudity, language, drug use and some domestic violence
- Last updated: April 4, 2023
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