Knowing Paul Raymond
Following the death if his daughter Paul Raymond reflects on his life from arriving in the city with 5 bob in his pocket to building a business empire based on erotica. But Paul's lust for success, publicity and more wealth eventually intervenes in his personal life from his philandering to his relationship with his daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots) who he had hoped would take over the business one day.
Many years ago I watched "The People vs. Larry Flynt" the fictionalized drama about the life of Larry Flynt who built an empire on erotica and it was both interesting and entertaining despite the fact when I watched it I had no idea as to who Larry Flynt was. Now I had heard of Paul Raymond when I watched "The Look of Love" but still hoped to be entertained in a similar way only to end up bored by what ends up a movie which doesn't know what it wants to be. One minute it is going for drama as we see Paul walk out on his wife for one of his show girls the next and with out warning it switches to documentary style and it is a blend which doesn't work.
What also doesn't work is the almost blasé way it tells the story of Paul Raymond, not really telling how he came to be so wealthy but showing us his personal life, the philandering which cost him his marriage whilst also his gay abandonment with money when it came to splashing the cash. Basically "The Look of Love" ends up feeling like a photo album full of snapshots of Raymond's life with the occasional few words to remind us that he came from nowhere and even bad press is better than no press. Yes it shows some warts such as his relationship with his son but rarely does it flow.
But the biggest issue with "The Look of Love" for me was Steve Coogan because unfortunately what I got was a more flamboyant version of Alan Partridge which I have mentioned before has never been my thing. Now maybe the real Paul Raymond was like this but it was just wrong for me to the point of being annoying. The shame of it is that if you can look past everything about the movie which is annoying then there is an interesting movie about a father and daughter as well as a man who needed the excess to feel alive.
What this all boils down to is that "The Look of Love" just didn't do it for me and from the style to the acting I found it annoying. But as I said beneath those things which are wrong is an interesting look at a man who loved to make money from being talked about whilst also a look at the troubled relationship with his daughter brought on through his life choices.