“The Love Punch” delivers with Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson at the wheel

In the sweet romantic comedy The Love Punch, Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson play exes who embark on a benevolent crime caper in the south of France. They enlist hapless friends Jerry and Penelope (scene-stealers Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie) to carry out their Robin Hood scheme. Along the way, they’ll endure car chases, goons with guns, and unsolicited glimpses of their college son’s roommate in his most private moments.

If that sounds ridiculous, well, it is…but the marvelously elegant Brosnan and Thompson make it work, a royal couple who give the audience a good time and a hearty laugh along the way. Cerebral and credible it’s not, but what romantic comedy is? Leaving the theater with a smile on your face is all a filmmaker can ask, and The Love Punch delivers.  

This is only the third feature for writer/director Joel Hopkins, but his previous effort, Last Chance Harvey (2008), picked up Golden Globe nominations for stars Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman on the way to a worldwide $32.6 million take. That was all it took for The Love Punch’s team of primarily French producers to bring him on board and fly a cast of veteran British actors to the land of love and lust. Not a bad gig.   

Independently financed by a European and American consortium, The Love Punch has big budget production values with sharp, bright visuals reflecting its classically European settings. Red is the color of romance, and a crisp crimson color palette dominates the film’s interiors while exteriors need no more than an unretouched view of Paris and the French Riviera.

Legendary cinematographer Jérôme Alméras has over 50 pictures to his credit. His widescreen camerawork captures the breathtaking allure of the City of Light and French countryside. This love letter to France would be right at home on The Travel Channel. Alméras likes to keep his camera in motion, taking full advantage of the film’s budgetary allowance for crane and helicopter shots. Editor Susan Littenberg’s impressive credits include Sense and Sensibility (1995), The Ice Storm (1997), Charlotte’s Web (2006), Bride Wars (2009) and Easy A (2010), all festival, critical, and box office favorites. Her snappy cutting, along with Alméras itchy shutter finger, results in a movie whose breathless pace increases as the plot unfolds.

Composer Jean-Michel Bernard’s lovely original score is vintage European romantic comedy, broken up by a WTF infusion of rock classics like Free’s All Right Now and I Fought the Law by The Clash. Bernard is a celebrated French musician who crossed over into the Western market with 2008’s Be Kind Rewind and nabbed several prestigious awards for The Science of Sleep (2006). The movie is an aural delight.   

Ultimately, though, the stars of the film raise it above the level of what could have been standard, lukewarm farce into a lighthearted romp that may not be the most memorable of its genre but is a welcome departure from the current crop of teen blockbusters and weighty dramas filling multiplexes and art houses. Separately, Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan each have a body of work unrivaled among their peers. Together they’re simply magical. The chemistry between them is palpable, and one can imagine a franchise built around these two…with this movie being a competent start.

The Love Punch is a sweet adult rom-com with a touch of Pink Panther, a “leave the kids at home” escape into a film with an admittedly absurd premise made surprisingly believable (and immensely enjoyable) due to the presence of two of our most supremely talented actors.    


NOTE: The Love Punch premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. It is being released domestically in select cities on May 23rd through Ketchup Entertainment.   

The official trailer is below.

The Love Punch Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson Movie HD

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  • Video Release: April 22, 2014
  • Length: 1.98 min
  • Views: 27811


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at Larry411.com

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  • Author: Larry Richman
  • Posted: May 22, 2014
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