The Look of Love
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writer: Matt Greenhalgh
Cast: Steve Coogan, Imogen Poots, Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton, Chris Addison, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Shirley Henderson, Simon Bird, David Walliams, Dara O’Briain
Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan) makes his money with nightclubs, stripping, erotic dancing – basically women taking their clothes off. And he makes a lot of it, despite the controversy around his job. His wife Jean (Anna Friel) is fully supportive – until Paul leaves her to be with Amber (Tamsin Egerton) and fully enjoy the party lifestyle. While Jean goes to the US with their son, Paul’s daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots) wants to follow in Paul’s footsteps as he continues to build his naked women emporium.
The Look of Love has a good cast but it has serious issues with focussing on the story they want to tell. It’s still rather entertaining, but it really didn’t blow me away.
The movie has many good points that work very well. For a film that is all about a man who spend most of his life making his money off of women taking their clothes off, the movie, while frank in its depiction of nudity and sex, keeps most of the ogling to a minimum, which was nice to see. The soundtrack was really nice (apart from Imogen Poots’ rendition of The Look of Love, which was just as painful as it was supposed to be in the film and a bit weird of a weird note to end on). The cast was great, and there were some brilliant cameos as well.
Generally the movie was very entertaining and rather well-told. I enjoyed most of it, no doubt about that.
But the movie just seemed so unfocused. I think they went for a “Raymond and his women” plotting, but that just means that much like Raymond, it jumps around between the women in his life and never really provides a point of stability. They obviously tried that by framing Raymond along his relationship with his daughter but she disappears for a good chunk of the film straight away, so that’s no good either.
And since it also jumps around in time, it never felt particularly coherent to me. And this lack made it feel much longer than it was. As I said, it’s still nice, but with a bit more focus and bit more tightening, it could have been nicer still.
Summarizing: if you have nothing better to do, go for it.