Certificate 12a, 94 minutes

Director: Joel Hopkins

Stars: Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Spall

In The Love Punch, Richard (Pierce Brosnan, A Long Way Down, No Escape) and Kate (Emma Thompson, Men in Black 3) are a divorced couple who have still got a pretty amicable relationship. Their daughter is off to university, and their son is already there. Since their divorce, Richard has been dating much younger women, and Kate is looking for a relationship herself, mostly through the internet. Richard is retiring in about a week, looking forward (or not) to a life of leisure (or boredom) when he goes into work and finds that the company he works for, Culco Engineering, is in receivership and the shares in it are worthless. The pensions of Richard, and his colleagues, was invested in those shares and are now worthless too.

The Love PunchCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Love_Punch_Poster.jpgAs a result, they have lost almost everything, with no means of either continuing to live or pay for their children's' education. The new owners of Richard's company are a hedge fund called Lexon. They have drained the company dry and run it into the ground. Richard and Kate go to Paris to confront the owner of the fund, Vincent Kruger (Laurent Lafitte), who lives there. Kruger admits he has done it and, states that even though what he has done may be immoral and unethical, it's not illegal, and shows absolutely no remorse over it. When they see that Kruger is getting married to his fiancé, Manon (Louise Bourgoin), Kate points out a diamond that she is wearing, that's called the Eye of the Rainbow and is worth $10.8 million and says they should steal it. They need help doing it and so call their mutual friends Jerry (Timothy Spall) and Penelope (Celia Imrie).

Apart from Richard and Kate and, to a lesser extent, Jerry and Penelope, the other characters are all pretty minor - even including the villain of the piece, who gets less time on screen than his fiancé does. Fortunately, Richard and Kate interact pretty well with each other, or this would have fallen pretty flat. The Love Punch is a heist movie that's crossed with a romantic comedy, and pretty much chucks realism out the window. The value of the diamond (and why is that in dollars - British news would have given it in pounds) isn't really enough for the raising the amount of money they look to be trying to, to both repair Richard and Kate's nest egg, as well as that of the other former employees of Culco who also lost out. That also ignores the problems that would arise in accounting for where the money came from. Jerry has an unbelievable (but probably deliberately so) amount of experience in a whole host of, largely military, professions that gives him a lot of contacts for just about everything.

As a note for Americans, the reaction that the group has to the acquired gun may seems excessive, but the majority of Britons have never seen a handgun, so it's a curiosity - albeit a dangerous one. This is an okay film; everything comes up roses for Richard and Kate, and there are no great surprises in how their relationship develops. The Love Punch is nothing special - it's neither great nor bad - and is an enjoyable enough piece of light entertainment.

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