The Look of Love

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This is a hard movie to recommend. If you have an interest in Paul Raymond, or how Soho and the “men’s club” and “men’s magazine” trade was changed by the Hefner of the UK, then it is probably worth a gander. It is also an interesting follow-on to Mrs. Henderson Presents (which I do recommend), though more for a better understanding of what history Raymond built upon. They are very different films!

Look is most definitely staffed with a great cast to help tell Raymond’s story. Coogan (Philomena), as Raymond, is both slimy and, somehow, charismatic. Probably very true to the man himself. Friel (Limitless, Pushing Dasies), Egerton (Keeping Mum), and Poots (A Late Quartet), as his main female influences, all deliver great arcs and support.

Ultimately, though, the structure isn’t quite there to help you along as anything beyond recounting his life. It attempts to give it structure by trying to show the blind spots and soft spots of those involved. It probably could have been called “Money Can’t Buy You Love,” but I suspect they couldn’t get the rights for that. In fairness, the title and associated song are very much on point as well; it depends on your level of cynicism as to which is more appropriate. But as a movie on its own merits, it isn’t entirely satisfying or engaging, even if it is watchable and well acted.

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