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Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard in Lovelace.

Lovelace, the biopic of Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace, could have just as easily been called A Tale of Two Lindas. What starts as a dreamy fantasy about a girl who finds freedom and the fame she always craved as the poster girl for the sexual revolution quickly sours, circling back to re-tell the same astronomical rise, filling in the dark parts. It’s a fascinating idea, to tell a story like this in two “alternate” universes: one, Linda the star, the other, Linda the manipulated and battered bride. It’s a promising idea that never fully blossoms into success on screen.

In the lead role, Amanda Seyfried shines. She shows her familiar charm as Linda Boreman, the na ve girl who would become Linda Lovelace, the legend. But her real work is done in the heartbreaking second half, as Linda is repeatedly beaten, raped and threatened by her husband Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard). It’s a performance that sticks with you. Together, Sarsgaard and Seyfried have developed a smart chemistry that makes their highs and lows all the more intense.

It’s perhaps not a completely honest portrait, glazing over some details of Lovelace’s life. Though that’s not surprising, given the entirely sympathetic tone directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman certainly intended.

The biggest problem is the film’s brief third act where the whole show grinds to a halt. Our story lurches six years forward, Lovelace is now Linda Marchiano: wife and mother. We’re given the martyr’s salvation, but never her recovery.

A story worth telling falls flat here, under the weight of its own storytelling. Epstein and Friedman’s stylistic choices end up outshining the heart-wrenching tale of their heroine; a starlet completely drowned out by her spotlight.

In Elle‘s August 2013 issue, Amanda Seyfried opens up about her love life and her riskiest role yet: porn star Linda Lovelace.

Calling it “the riskiest thing that’s happening [in Hollywood] right now,” Seyfried tells the magazine why she decided to take the role, which had initially been offered to her Mean Girls costar Lindsay Lohan. “The first thing you think about is that it could have ruined my career,” she says. “At the same time, I was like, ‘This is my chance to show them, to show the industry, to be recognized.'”

As for her own sex life, Seyfried talks about her desire for immediate sexual attraction: “Sparks don’t grow – your vagina doesn’t become more inclined to wanting someone just because you’re around them.” She also talks about her relationship with ex-boyfriend (and Mamma Mia costar) Dominic Cooper: “We love each other … He’ll always be in my life regardless of what his girlfriends or future wife think.”

But as for her current crush:

[He’s] someone separate from my industry life-I’ve known him since he was 16… I picture him as the father of my children all the time. But it is a fantasy right now.

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