Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Look of Love, You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!

The Look of Love
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!

Props to director Michael Winterbottom and his production design for evocatively recreating the London of the mod 1960's for "The Look of Love," the new biopic about the English porn king Paul Raymond. Unfortunately, his movie never swings.
Fifteen minutes shy of two hours, it downshifts at some point from languorous to merely lethargic. And we've seen this story arc - the self-made man, the womanizing, the tragic drug-fueled death of a child - one or two hundred times before. It's presented so predictably that the inexorable declension suffuses even the early highs, sucking the energy out of the picture. It doesn't help that Steve Coogan - who teamed with Winterbottom so memorably in 2011's hilarious "The Trip" - plays Raymond almost catatonically, though I have a half-grudging admiration for the choice.

Nonagenarian director Alain Resnais has made a strange new film called "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!", and you sure ain't. It's a sort of mashup of the Eurydice plays of Jean Anouilh with Jonathan Lynn's movie of "Clue," complete with interrelated guests who arrive at the vaguely foreboding estate of a host who may or may not be present and are presented with certain demands on his behalf by his cryptic butler. Heck, you even get your choice of multiple possible endings. As for the Eurydice stuff itself - which takes up the bulk of the nearly two-hour runtime - it's fairly watchable by and large, but your tush may begin to squirm by Act IV.

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