Starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson. Rating unavailable.
“What have we got to lose, apart from our dignity?” So asks Emma Thompson several times during The Love Punch. I believe this was actually lifted verbatim from discussions with her agent, who sold her on a trifle aimed squarely at Britons of a certain age.
The meaninglessly titled movie was written and directed by Joel Hopkins, who provided a similarly tepid setting for Thompson in Last Chance Harvey. Here, the object of her character’s unsure affections is Pierce Brosnan’s Richard Jones, a corporate executive who long ago left her Kate for the usual younger woman (now gone) and is about to retire. With their grown children away at college, each is facing an empty nest. The nest gets further stripped when the conglomerate that bought Richard’s (unspecified) company grabs all its assets, including pensions.
The Joneses must reluctantly reteam in an effort to get back what’s rightfully theirs, dammit. If that means jetting off to Paris and then the Côte d’Azur, to catch up with the crook (Laurent Lafitte) who ripped them off... well, as Emma Thompson’s agent would say: paid vacation!
Once abroad, Kate somehow manages to bond with the villain’s knockout fiancée (The Girl From Monaco’s Louise Bourgoin) and Richard hatches a plan to steal the $10-million diamond he’s giving her as a present. Yeah, that should be easier to fence than the Mona Lisa.
The cutely bickering ex-couple—his prostate, her bunions—can’t pull it off alone, and so enlist the help of best pals played by U.K. reliables Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie. They prove surprisingly adaptable to a life of crime, which largely consists of the foursome, in heist-movie costumes, swaggering in slow motion to rock music of the early 1970s.
Dignity is so overrated.
In fact, if the stakes had been lower and the leads were allowed to riff off each other more naturally, the tale could have been agreeable to viewers of all types—not just to people with way too much time on their hands.