Friday, August 9, 2013

<i>We're the Millers</i> and the Many Faces of Jason Sudeikis

Posted By on Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Page 5 of 5

Lovelace movie Amanda Seyfried
I Give It a Year, In a World, and Lovelace: For some reason, indie movie companies waited until August to really unleash their wares, creating another closeout vibe, even when many releases from the next few weeks were acclaimed at Sundance earlier this year rather than movies created explicitly to sell eyeball-dotted toy planes. I'm pretty sure at least some of these movies—maybe all three?—are available On Demand; even the On Demandplex is going to look pretty crowded by the end of the month. Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Austenland, Drinking Buddies, Short Term 12, Afternoon Delight, The Lifeguard, and Passion are among the indie movies spilling out onto various screens by month's end; I think only two of these movies costar Juno Temple, but it seems like way more.

I wanted to see all of this weekend's big indies, but only had time for Avalanche and Lovelace, a sorta-biopic of the Deep Throat star, which features some diverting period recreations and a lovely, empathetic performance from Amanda Seyfried (and an appropriately creepy one from Peter Sarsgaard as the man who, according to the movie, all but sold Linda Lovelace into sex slavery). But the movie doesn't take a particularly complex view of its heroine-slash-mostly-victim; apart from telling the story of her rise to stardom and then circling back to fill in some seedier details involving Sargaard's character, it doesn't have much to say except "poor Linda Lovelace. She really had it pretty rough." I don't doubt it, but the film seems intended for an era when Lovelace would need this kind defending—and as such, winds up appearing both cavalier toward anyone in the porn industry not played by Sarsgaard and in blind agreement with Lovelace's assertion, later in life, that Deep Throat was basically hell. Seyfried and the rest of the cast bring human interest to a story that, by design, doesn't look any further past the surface than it finds convenient.

I Give It a Year and In a World both look like exactly the type of human-scale stories studios recoil from making, even when the subject matter isn't the least bit controversial: I Give It a Year is a post-marriage romantic comedy while In a World basically looks like a comedy about a single career girl (Lake Bell, who also wrote and directed). But when a broad comedy like The Do List can't get multiplex traction, it's depressingly understandable why these movies would make themselves available to discerning stay-at-home audiences.

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