Is The Look of Love any good? Hopefully our round-up of reviews will let you know.
The Look Of Love is the quite extraordinary true story of British entrepreneur and smut peddler Paul Raymond (played by Steve Coogan), who made his fortune opening some of Britain's first strip clubs and financing other classically un-British pursuits to eventually become Britain's richest man. The film follow's Raymond's life in humorous fashion before leading up to the darkest parts of his life when his daughter (played by Imogen Poots) and heir to his empire died of a drugs overdose and his eventual withdrawal from public life.
The film has already been aired at film festivals across the globe and will be given general release across the UK on April 26, with the first round of reviews for the film giving a delicately mixed reception to the the tale of Raymond's life. So far the film holds an unflattering score of 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics largely agreeing that the performances (particularly Coogan's) and the story itself are worthy of praise, however the movie doesn't quite come together as a complete entity, with the Daily Telegraph commenting that the film is "funny and touching, but feels like a missed opportunity."
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter commented that the film fails to handle the more delicate aspects of Raymond's life and although "Steve Coogan's performance is consistently amusing, the poignant dimensions the director appears to be seeking don't quite come together." Meanwhile, Jeremy Kay of The Guardian complains that the film which reunites Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom often sees Coogan's Alan Partridge character seep into his portrayal of Raymond, however Coogan's overall performance and the film itself are both commendable. Meanwhile, The List's Hannah McGill compares the film to The People vs. Larry Flynt, commenting that The Look... never comes close to matching "the depth and ambiguity" found in the tale of Penthouse's founder.
The Look of Love stars Anna Friel, Steve Coogan and Tamsin Egerton at this week's London premiere
Whether the round of somewhat unforgiving reviews will do the film harm in the long run will have to be seen, but either way the story of Raymond's life is one worth telling and surely Coogan and Winterbottom's run through his life is more entertaining than reading his Wikipedia page in full.