Complete A-Z list

Look of Love, The (DQ)


Stars: Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton, Imogen Poots, Chris Addison, James Lance, Matthew Beard

Director: Michael Winterbottom

A rather inconsequential biography of porn impresario Paul Raymond (born Geoffrey Quinn), who opened his notorious Revuebar in Soho in the late 1950s, expanded on the back of its success - nudes who moved - to buy shops, offices, girlie magazines and a theatre (in which he staged his (in)famous farce Pyjama Tops) and was declared Britain's richest man in the early 1990s.

His hedonistic lifestyle saw his wife Jean (Friel) leave him after his three (and four)-in-a-bed romps and drug-taking (although she later returned to pose naked in one of his magazines) and his daughter Debbie (Poots), who had singing ambitions, but hardly the talent, sink into maelstrom of cocaine and finally heroin.

The 'story', however, doesn't really go anywhere, and you wonder whether it was actually worth telling; Coogan gives a studied account of the porn mogul, but never quite escapes his own comedy image. Other parts are acceptably played, with Egerton as Raymond's longtime mistress and front-of-house attraction Fiona Richmond, and Poots achieving perfectly the balance between singing nicely but not quite well enough.

It;s a sordid tale, as you'd expect, and, in the end, probably best told, if at all, as a TV documentary.

David Quinlan

UK 2013. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Technicolor.
100 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 3, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Apr 2013