The Love PunchCultureCinemaMovie reviews
According to Emma Thompson’s grandmother, your heart must have been broken at least ten times before it can truly love. Poor woman, sounds awfully hard done by – but it is along these lines that The Love Punch takes its form. The film follows the adventures of eight-years-divorced couple Richard (Pierce Brosnan) and Kate (Thompson) who are forced to put their differences behind them as they set out to no other than the perfect romance of Paris and the French riviera to reclaim their stolen savings.
With ridiculously dubious simplicity, the couple fly off to Paris to confront the young, handsome French financier who defrauded Richard’s company, take part in a high-speed car chase, hack into private company files, gatecrash a wealthy businessman’s wedding and steal a ten-million-dollar diamond. You see why Pierce Brosnan is the perfect male lead. But this is James Bond in retirement, and the shortcomings of middle-age – not forgetting its learned insights too – provide the film with a warm and charming humour that will appeal to all ages.
In a press conference following the screening, writer and director Joel Hopkins admitted his motive for the film was initially to work with Thompson again (Last Chance Harvey was their 2008 hit). It was Thompson’s desire to base the story around a long-since divorced couple, and proposed Pierce Brosnan as her partner in crime. Along with co-stars Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall, the perfect casting contributes to the film’s efforts to, in Hopkins’ words, “remind people of more innocent times” – hence the clichéd setting, fail-safe humour and typical characterisations. But if you forgive this film its easiness, it is really quite an enjoyable and comforting ride.
In Hopkins’ writing, which Thompson described as “limpid and clean”, there is a fast, fluid progression that is so absent from today’s film scene. Imrie agreed, claiming that all contemporary sobriety causes everyone to just fall asleep. With this in mind, the wit, charisma and endearing personality of The Love Punch is unsurprising as it deals, openly and frankly, with the truth of middle-age and marriage.
The Love Punch is released nationwide on 18th April 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Love Punch here: