Love Punch (3/10)
movie is a stunner. Emma Thompson is one of the more gifted women
in film, a terrific actress and a fine writer. While Pierce Brosnan has
been in some horrors (his performance in the ghastly conversion of
Momma Mia (2008) to the screen stands out as a real stinker, although
many didn’t notice it because Meryl Streep outstunk him as the singing
dancing lead), he has also exhibited some talent when it came to light
comedy and romance, like The Matador (2004) and
Love is All
You Need (2013). At the 49 minute mark, Emma asks Pierce, “Do you
think we’re doing the right thing?” That’s the question she should have
asked after first reading the script.
them in what writer/director Joel Tompkins thinks of as a caper film
farce à la The Pink Panther (1963) with romcom elements, this promised
to be a gem. Even though the first scene is a clever homage to Brosnan’s
stint as James Bond, what it turns out to be is an inexplicably terrible
film. After five minutes I turned to my guest and asked if she liked it.
She responded, “yes,” and asked if I did and I said “no.” Forty five
minutes later I asked her if she still liked it and she said, “no.”
reason is that it is so appallingly implausible. The basis of the film,
that Pierce and Emma are going to steal a $10 million diamond from the
man who stole their company in order to make everything right with all
the employees and themselves, is absurd. And the way they go about it is
farce is, by definition, absurd, it takes talent to make it funny
instead of stupid. I’ve referred in the past to my affection for films
like director Alan Dwan’s Getting Gertie’s Garter (1945) which
can stand as a blueprint on how to make such a movie and make it funny.
Tompkins claims that this is his first “French film.” Alas, he needs to
go back to the drawing board because this doesn’t approach the subtlety
that the French often give to a film like this.
the chemistry between Thompson and Brosnan, who play spouses divorced
from one another thinking maybe they should try again, is non-existent.
only things about this movie that don’t fail dismally are the production
values and the cinematography (Jérôme Almeras) of the Parisian and
French Riviera locations. But those few minutes don’t make up for the
squirming and watch-checking caused by the other 89.