Film4: PREMIERE Friday 18 September, 10.40pm
Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace in shallow biopic of the Deep Throat housewife superstar. Mamma Mia! A ‘good girl’ who escaped a strict religious upbringing (Sharon Stone is unrecognisable as her mother), Linda falls prey to the demands of abusive husband Peter Sarsgaard who, acting as her manager, pimps her out at conventions before forcing her into the porn business.
Years later she lays all the blame on him and the mother who told her to obey her husband, while confessing to her own youthful ignorance and naïveté (young, dumb and full of cum?). She just wanted to be an actress, not a blue movie sensation. Her greatest performance, it seems, was pretending to enjoy her 15 minutes of fame in 1972.
There’s none of the wit and insight of Mary Harron’s The Notorious Bettie Paige here, just rote showbiz clichés and sentimental music to make sure we’re understanding how tragic this is. And how sleazy. The 70s were so sleazy. Look, there’s Richard Nixon on TV to prove the point. Sarsgaard gives the best performance in the showy role of the odious Chuck Traynor, a man so stoned he couldn’t work out why a film called The French Connection didn’t have subtitles.