The Love Punch – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

After an ex-couple’s pension, and financial security, gets stolen, they devise a way to steal their money, and many others, back.

Review (with Spoilers)

Emma Thompson in a comedy, especially after her performances during the 2013-2014 award season, sounds like a sure bet for laughter right? After all, she seems more than comfortable with herself, seems equally deep and hilarious, and then she has Pierce Brosnan as a tag team partner in the movie. Leading to the question: Does this film live up to expectations?

Characters & Story

During Richard’s (Pierce Brosnan) last week before retirement, he finds out the man he sold his company to, Vincent (Laurent Lafitte), has pretty much destroyed all he has worked for after 25 years. His pension is gone, his ex-wife’s Kate (Emma Thompson), Richard’s employees, and the building of the company Richard formerly ran is in foreclosure. Making it so those near retirement, and nowhere near, are all in a terrible position.

So, in order to right this wrong, Richard and Kate use the little bit of money they have left to head to France and confront Vincent. Something which leads to them being kicked out of Vincent’s building and them deciding they are going to steal Vincent’s wife’s $10 million diamond to refund all the money Vincent stole. Something which requires the help of Vincent and Kate’s son Matt (Jack Wilkinson), as well as Richard and Kate’s friends Penelope (Celia Imrie) and Jerry (Timothy Spall).

Leading to a caper type film which has light espionage, a damsel in distress, a bickering former married couple, and Jerry who seemingly did quite well in the military and made loads of friends.

Praise

If you were to look at each of the protagonists’ stories, in terms of what happened before the movie, you are given interesting tales. Whether it is Jerry’s career in the military, which has led to shrapnel and forceps being found in his body; Richard and Kate’s relationship, which perhaps began too soon; or even Richard’s pursuit of a younger woman and building up his company. With all that is told to us, you are given a wealth of background information. All of which create this sense that these characters have lived full lives before we met them and that after all the sacrifices and the interesting lives they’ve lived, they deserve their pension money to relax.

Criticism

However, as much as their little tidbits about what happened in the past are interesting, nothing we see in the present has the same effect. Watching Thompson and Brosnan go back and forth throughout the movie is neither appealing nor funny, and it doesn’t even have the passion the bickering between Nick and Meg in Le Week-End had to make it interesting. The jabs are all very shallow and while you see two attractive people who look good together, there is a real lack of chemistry that makes it hard to invest in either their past, or possibly future, relationship, much less their friendship.

Then, on top of that, honestly, Jerry’s random stories about being in the military were strangely more interesting than what most of the film offered. This is despite Thompson and Brosnan kidnapping, and impersonating, Texans; having a will they get back together, or won’t they, type of relationship; and Thompson giving motherly advice to Vincent’s bride Manon (Louise Bourgoin), of which had one quotable line amongst their conversations.

Overall: Skip It

A part of me wants to say this is something which should be labeled “TV Viewing,” but in all honesty, I think there isn’t much here to really garner wasting an hour and a half of your life. Brosnan’s charm is there, but there isn’t much chemistry between him and Thompson; and while Thompson attempts to be funny, the script doesn’t seem geared to her talents at all. If anything, all you get is a story about a divorced couple of which one-half speaks on how happy they are they aren’t married to the other; we listen to Kate, Richard, and Jerry remind us constantly that they are old; and overall you get the feeling that if they were going to use these characters, minus Vincent and Manon, for a movie, it should of took place when they were still interesting and worth making a film about. Hence the “Skip It” label. The character, not actors mind you, are past the point where they can do or say anything interesting, and really this whole “let’s steal a diamond” story seems barely evolved out of being an interesting concept.

Collected Quote(s)

“Liking them is much more important than loving them, actually. Love is easy to fall into, liking is much harder.”

— The Love Punch

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