All the older stars seem to be getting in on the increased demand for ‘geriatri-com’s’ and Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie are no exceptions.
The Love Punch is a romantic comedy that see’s a divorced couple (Brosnan and Thompson) reunite to recover retirement money that has been stolen from them. Setting off on an action packed adventure, the pair enlist the help of their oldest pals (Spall and Imrie) to steal a diamond that will more than cover their retirement fund.
With a stellar cast you would be forgiven for expecting something brilliant, particularly after the recent and highly successful influx of offensively dubbed ‘geriatri-com’s’ (Red, Last Vegas, The Best Marigold Hotel et al), however The Love Punch is punching far below its weight and delivers very few laughs. Predominantly consisting of laborious scenes of complete drivel in which Thompson and Brosnan try (completely unconvincingly) to act the divorced-but-still-kind-of-in-love couple, the film is as slow as it is completely implausible.
Implausibility can be forgiven, and even embraced in the world of film, particularly when it comes to comedy, but when poorly executed (such as The Love Punch is) it is difficult to enjoy the ridiculousness and instead it becomes really quite annoying. Somehow amid the over the top storyline and ridiculous scenarios that, if done well, would have been mildly amusing, director Joel Hopkins (Last Chance Harvey) completely lost the ability to make comedy out of madness and everything comes together as one big, ridiculous and brash mess.
Credit where it’s due, Timothy Spall is a genius casting choice as the divorcee’s outlandish friend, although he would probably be a genius casting choice in any role. He brings a sense of comedy that every other aspect of the film manages to just miss and completely outshines the rest of the cast who, usually, are brilliant in their own right. Knowing the cast’s abilities in comedy as we do, it’s difficult not to pin the blame for the shambles that is The Love Punch on Hopkins.
Ultimately, The Love Punch, for all its faults, is a light bit of fun entertainment. While for the most part it’s made up of laborious, over-done scenes with little comedy value it does have its moments and will no doubt manage to raise a smile at least once. Just don’t expect any more than a smile, or you’ll be sorely disappointed!