The Love Punch
starring Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie and Louise Bourgoin
written and directed by Joel Hopkins
It’s like watching The Italian Job (1969, starring Michael Caine and Noel Coward, re-made in 2003 with Donald Sutherland and Mark Wahlberg), but in France. Richard and Kate Jones (Pirece Brosnan and Emma Thompson), a divorced middle aged couple, are racing around Paris - and later the Riviera - in what looks like a Mini, chasing the venture capitalist, Vincent, who bankrupted Richard’s company in London - and all the employee’s retirement security along with it - just days after he sold it and was set to retire to a life of leisure. The script abounds with bad English tourists in Paris jokes, speaking poor French jokes (which is also funny because Emma Thompson speaks fluent French), ex-jokes, and fuddy-duddy aging jokes.
It turns into a amateur diamond heist, a caper film. Vincent ignores Richard and Kate during their confrontation in his Paris office, first because he’s an asshole, and second because technically he hasn’t done anything illegal. So Richard and Kate decide to nick Vincent’s fiancé’s extremely expensive diamond as revenge.
It was dumb but fun. The writing goes a long way towards holding it all together during fast-paced action and fast-delivered jokes. However, it feels like too much time is spent unraveling the story. It could have been well done in shorter time, think. Maybe it should have been.
It’s never too early for champagne. It’s always too late.