The Look of Love Screen 8 articles

The Look of Love

2013

The Look of Love Poster
  • Zippy and saturated with soft-core nudity, The Look of Love isn’t hard to watch, especially when statuesque Tamsin Egerton enters the picture as a redheaded dancer who captures Raymond’s heart. Still, the plot structure feels especially rickety—you roll your eyes waiting for the comeuppance.

  • Winterbottom only lightly enlivens what turns out to be a rote tale of a man who achieves his libertine dreams and, in the process, loses that which he holds most dear—in this case, his daughter, Debbie... Coogan's portrayal is heartfelt, but The Look of Love rarely exploits its star's comedic dexterity.

  • Winterbottom appears to be unaware of how uninteresting Raymond's life story is, anchoring him at the center of a four-decade-spanning empire-building tale that yields little surprise beyond the occasional aesthetic pizzazz. There's more substance abuse than actual substance in what may be the most polished and conventional film of the director's career.

  • Matt Greenhalgh’s script, which amounts to a series of headline-grabbing vignettes, doesn’t develop any of the other characters sufficiently to let them fill in the interest Coogan’s Raymond fails to supply. The movie is a character study in search of a character.

  • With nothing arresting to grab hold of, and no norms to subvert, Coogan drifts through the film in an agreeable, mildly obnoxious daze, breaking out his celebrity impressions (Sean Connery, Marlon Brando) when things get too pokey. The best The Look Of Love can manage by way of an arc is a downward spiral of drug addiction, and even that’s by proxy...

  • Raymond’s public persona, characterized by his deliberate speech pattern... and his hypocritical need to coat his sexually exploitative trade with a veneer of respectability make him perfect for the star’s trademark arch satire. Oozing blandness, Raymond boasts about his rags-to-riches success, spouts platitudes, name-drops, and does appalling movie-star impersonations. Coogan’s own impersonation is precise, but the melancholy that finally engulfs Raymond is beyond him.

  • In "The Look of Love," a new biopic about British pornographer Paul Raymond, director Michael Winterbottom and screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh modestly defy the narrative conventions that they themselves use. While its creators don't go far enough to deflate their protagonist's ego, it's a smarter-than-average rise-and-fall narrative.

  • Coogan imbues Raymond with an easy wit and humor—a sharp contrast to his daughter's descent into the London drug scene—and creates a multi-dimensional portrait of England's original Porn King.

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