There’s a disappointing lack of thrust about Michael Winterbottom’s biopic of Soho property owner and adult entertainment entrepreneur, Paul Raymond. Steve Coogan brings neither the necessary charisma nor tragedy to the character. The Look of Love seems to lack focus which ultimately lands upon a father/daughter relationship which is the film’s most interesting angle but it doesn’t feel fully developed. The film is strongest at the start but the early reveal that his daughter dies young just makes the audience await the inevitable rather than having the desired dramatic effect. It’s frustratingly littered with cameos and minor roles from famous faces in British television comedy (David Walliams, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Dara O’Briain, Simon Bird) without giving any of them the screen time to showcase any comedic talent. Winterbottom’s direction occasionally sparks with some elegant shots and editing but even his best efforts fail to ignite a true sense of seediness about mid-to-late 20th century Soho, no matter how many bare breasts are on display.
Review by David Rank
The Look of Love is out now in the UK. Running time 101 mins. Certificate 18 (UK).
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