Thoughts on the movie Lovelace

* Much—though not all—of the material in Lovelace probably merits comedy, not drama. The scenes in which the real stars mimics porn stars with little talent for acting were funny.

* Linda has very little agency in the movie; her only real choices are to get with Chuck Traynor in the first place and, finally, to leave him. This doesn’t make her a satisfying protagonist, since she is almost always acted upon and rarely acts herself.

A happy porn star might not make for much of a movie, since such a movie would lack dramatic tension. A TV show like Entourage could provide a template on how to instill tension among a person or group that already has pretty much everything. But the dramatic tension in Lovelace feels forced. The director and screenwriter did a lot here with a little material.

* Chuck Traynor as presented is like a Nazgûl: strongest in the dark, away from other people.

* People who make bad decisions often suffer for them and suffer out of proportion of the seeming importance decision at the time. Linda’s parents appear to understand the world better than Linda does, although they are not depicted sympathetically. They know something easily forgotten today: that life is often hard and trade-offs are real.

* As noted above the movie does a lot with a small amount of material, but a small amount of material is still fundamental to the movie.

* Whenever you’re doing something socially castigated, claim it’s art, but post-Pop Art it’s also useful to remember the inverse isn’t necessarily true: just because it’s socially castigated doesn’t mean it’s art.

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