02 March 2015

The Love Punch (starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson)

We were wandering round a supermarket in the UK and spotted this - along with several other DVDs - on offer, at less than £3 each. We had never heard of this particular film, but we know of and like the two main stars (Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson) and we both like the rom-com genre, on the whole.

Last night we watched it with our mid-twenties son, who also liked the sound of it based on the actors and the blurb on the back. We were all quite tired and wanted something fairly fluffy, a ‘feel-good’ story that didn’t require too much thought. ‘The Love Punch’ delivered on all counts.

The story is about a divorced couple. Richard (Pierce Brosnan) is a wealthy businessman on the point of retirement. He’s starting to feel his age, with various ailments getting worse. Moreover, despite being something of a womaniser, he seems to be losing his touch. There’s more than a nod to his previous role as James Bond in this story, but it’s not necessary to be a fan of 007 or even to have seen his movies.

His ex-wife Kate (Emma Thompson) has also grown older, and is suffering the first pangs of being an empty nester. Their geeky son is already at university, their daughter about to depart for her own studies. I could empathise quite strongly with her mixed feelings of pride and misery as she watches her daughter drive away. Their good friends and neighbours, Jerry and Penelope (Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie) try to encourage Kate to meet someone new. Although she’s not particularly keen, she is determined to make an effort.

Then disaster strikes Richard’s business, and he turns to his ex-wife. From this point the plot starts to become increasingly surreal - at times, very silly - with the kind of slapstick humour that doesn’t usually appeal to me at all. But somehow it works. The script is amusing, the timing perfect, and the little digs at James Bond (even I know he’s the one who generally organises car chases…) add to the enjoyment.

It’s not the greatest film I’ve ever seen, but it was undoubtedly entertaining and kept us interested from the start. Emma Thompson is particularly good. The ending is somewhat predictable but left us with a happy-ever-after feeling that perhaps life isn’t as bad as it’s often portrayed.

I thought that the rating of 12 (PG-13 in the US) was about right. There was some minor bad language, and one or two instances of ‘strong’ language which weren’t too obvious. There were hints of bedroom scenes but nothing explicit, and some brief implied nudity that was oddly amusing.

I think one has to be in the right mood for this kind of film; don’t expect anything thought-provoking or deep, and accept the silliness for an attempt to entertain.

There are no real extras on the DVD. There are some interviews with the main cast but they were, frankly, rather dull and we gave up watching them after a few minutes.

Recommended if you want something light-hearted and don’t mind silliness and low-key slapstick.

Review by copyright 2015 Sue's DVD Reviews

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