Steve Coogan reunites with his frequent director Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People) to tell the true story of Paul Raymond, Britain’s version of Hugh Hefner, a man who became one of Britain’s richest men before his death in 2008. I must confess that I knew nothing of this man before watching the film, strange considering he was so huge in England. He opened up England’s first strip club, and followed that with soft-porn magazines and real estate ownership until he amassed a huge fortune. Coogan plays Raymond as a likeable enough sort with a wandering eye and a lack of commitment when it comes to his relationships. Anna Friel (Land of the Lost) plays Jean, Raymond’s long suffering wife who has no problem with his dalliance until he actually picks up and leaves. Imogen Poots is memorable as Debbie, Raymond’s daughter and the reason for his reclusiveness after her death from a drug overdose in 1992. Winterbottom captures the essence of the ‘60s and ‘70s just fine, and Coogan is enjoyable as the likeable Raymond. Perhaps that’s one of the problems with the film, because it seems like Raymond must’ve been a much lousier person than this film portrays him to be. While the film is always good to look at, some of it feels a bit shallow. There’s a strange sensation during and after watching this film. Part of that sensation stems from my being totally oblivious to this man’s existence before I started watching it. Another part stems from my feeling as if I still didn’t know him after watching the movie. The Look of Love is a good-looking movie well played by its participants, but it’s just scratching the surface. (On Demand and on iTunes while playing in select theaters.)

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