No punch in Thompson and Brosnan rom-com

Melissa York
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Cert 12A

Two Stars

IT’S UNCLEAR why this film is called The Love Punch. The title is never mentioned, no one drinks any punch and it isn’t really about love.

Richard (Pierce Brosnan) owns an investment firm that’s bankrupted by a dodgy, cackling Frenchman. Assets crippled, Richard rushes to ex-wife Kate (Emma Thompson) to tell her that their pension was tied up in the company and now they have nothing left. So the pair set off to the south of France and rope their next door neighbours into sneaking into the cackling Frenchman’s wedding as Texan billionaires to steal his young wife’s £10m diamond in revenge.

This band of Middle England retirees end up doing zany things like watersports while pulling exaggerated expressions of anguish. All that’s missing is a laughter track.

The film tries to break the stereotypes of middle age with references to internet dating and casual sex. But it just ends up reinforcing them by depicting every young person as a tech savvy naif, while Thompson and Brosnan spend the entire film looking wistful about their university days and now-broken marriages. It’s a lacklustre TV movie that’s more Shirley Valentine than Ocean’s Eleven.