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DVD REVIEW: The Look of Love
3:39pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Entertainments
IN the aftermath of his daughter’s death, publisher and club owner Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan) surveys the ruins of his life.
He recalls the 1950s, when he lays the foundations of his business empire with a touring show of nude models, supported by his long-suffering choreographer wife, Jean (Anna Friel).
Raymond expands with his Revue Bar and the sex comedy Pyjama Tops, then jeopardises his marriage to conduct an affair with actress Fiona Richmond (Tamsin Egerton).
Jean secures the largest divorce settlement in British history and walks away with her son Howard (Matthew Beard), while Raymond courts more controversy in the lucrative adult magazine market, assisted by editor Tony Power (Chris Addison).
Meanwhile, Raymond’s attention-seeking daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots) is sucked into her father’s orbit.
The Look Of Love oozes visual excess and Poots and Friel light up the colour-saturated screen.
However, Coogan seems to be channelling Alan Partridge in his portrayal, which lessens the emotional wallop of closing scenes with Debbie.
Matt Greenhalgh’s script is peppered with zinging one-liners, such as when a newly bouffant Jean fishes for compliments from her husband and asks: “Do you like my hair?”
Paul responds dryly: “It has a Myra Hindley effect.” Quips aside, there’s a disappointing lack of depth to the characters. Michael Winterbottom’s film beautifully evokes the changing fashions and moods of each decade, from the titillation and rigorous censorship of the 1950s and 1960s to the lurid, drug-saturated debauchery of the 1970s and discofied 1980s.
The soundtrack strums and shimmies in perfect unison, running the gamut of Burt Bacharach, Donovan, Hot Chocolate, Soft Cell and T-Rex.
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