TIFF 2013 Film Review: The Love Punch

Image courtesy of www.tiff.net

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Tuppance Middleton

Directed by: Joel Hopkins

Genre: Comedy

The Hype: Richard (Brosnan) and Kate (Thompson), a divorced couple, lose their retirement savings when a rich French business magnate purchases their company and drives it into the ground.

In order to gain a measure of payback, literally, for themselves and their employees, the couple enlists their best friends (Spall and Imrie) to join them on a daring diamond heist at the wedding of the French business magnate who stole their financial security.

The Reality: Part Pink Panther-esque caper, part commentary on the European financial crisis, The Love Punch, punctuated by the brilliant comedic chemistry between its two leads, is hilarious.

Brosnan, not known for his comedy chops (even in Mrs. Doubtfire he played a stuffy shirt), really turns it on here, while Thompson, in a role that demanded a range from subtle wit to straight out slapstick, is bang on in every regard.

But what really helps make this film enjoyable – aside from the performances – is that Hopkins’ clever script doesn’t attempt to fully rationalize the insane stunts the players partake in. Instead, it allows the characters to relay their astonishment at their own success, like a *wink wink* to the audience that says, “We know this probably wouldn’t happen in real life, but lets have fun with it.”

There are some unexpected twists, and the supporting cast – including Spall and Imrie – do a great job, but the film lives and dies on the chemistry and comedic merits of Brosnan and Thompson. And, to borrow a heist term, these two hit the mother load.

The Verdict: So much fun. The TIFF audience loved it, and Brosnan and Thompson were as much fun in person as they are on the screen. Check out the film.

Theatres or rent it?: Theatres

Can the grandkids watch?: Sure.

Rating (out of 5): 4 kernels out of 5