The collaborations between director Michael Winterbottom and comic Steve Coogan have created some of the greatest film comedies of the past couple decades, from The Trip‘s deadpan sniping to 24 Hour Party People‘s recreation of the Manchester music scene. For their fourth film, Winterbottom and Coogan focus on Paul Raymond, an infamous and glamorous figure in England who is essentially unknown across the pond.
The Look of Love opened this week in limited release. My full review is at Film Racket; here’s part of it:
It would be too much to call Paul Raymond the Hugh Hefner of England; if only because Hef never owned that much real estate. But in many other ways, Raymond’s life story, as shown in Michael Winterbottom’s flashbulb-riddled biopic, shows a definite kinship with Hef’s. They were both kids from straight-laced backgrounds who became erotic publishing and nightlife impresarios, as well as standard-bearers in the fight for (profitable, highly profitable) sexual liberation in the 1960s and ‘70s. Just like Hef, Raymond claimed that he didn’t publish pornography; what he was selling was a lifestyle. Unfortunately, lifestyle is just about all that The Look of Love has going for it…
The trailer is here: