The Look Of Love ***

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Run Time: 101 mins Cert: 18

 

Synopsis: Directed by Michael Winterbottom, this quirky British biopic stars Steve Coogan as club owner and pornography king Paul Raymond.

 

Based on a true story, “The Look Of Love” begins in the 1960s when club owner Paul Raymond decides to venture into erotica. Over the next three decades, he acquires a large number of clubs and other businesses in Soho whilst enjoying a glamorous lifestyle.

 

While on the surface the film appears fun and slightly comic with its over the top sex shows and poppy soundtrack, there is a darker side to the story. The seemingly carefree, extravagant lifestyle that Raymond and those around him live is also one of deceit and manipulation.

 

Steve Coogan gives a comic and sleazy performance as the lead character but lacks depth. Throughout the movie, his only interests are money, sex and spoiling his daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots). While the relationship between Raymond and his daughter could have added depth to the story, it feels slightly superficial.

 

Poots gives a good portrayal of the spoilt daddy’s girl but there are a lot of gaps in Debbie’s story which make it difficult for the audience to understand what is really going on in her life. The film seems to jump from one stage in her life to the next without giving the viewer any explanation as to how she came to be there.

 

In terms of the other leads, Anna Friel gives a mediocre performance as Jean Raymond. Again there are gaps in the story in that the viewer doesn’t really get any explanation as to why their son Howard stayed with her while Debbie ended up with her father. Throughout the movie, Jean only appears sporadically and doesn’t really add much to the story. Tamsin Egerton, while entertaining and attractive, gives a somewhat cheesy portrayal of Raymond’s long-term girlfriend Fiona Richmond.

 

The soundtrack is fun and reflects the times. From the 60s pop to 70s disco music the soundtrack is one of the film’s strong points.

 

Overall “The Look Of Love” is entertaining however its lack of depth and various plot holes make it a three star movie.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

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