Five years after the romantic drama "Last Chance Harvey," British filmmaker Joel Hopkins reteams with
The writer-director's affection for characters in late middle age is clear, but it's not enough to overcome the creaky contrivances of wannabe screwball "The Love Punch." Neither are Thompson and
The just-go-with-it premise involves a ludicrous plan to steal a $10-million diamond from a French bride during her mega-deluxe wedding. The groom is the hedge fund manager who bought and then liquidated the company headed by Richard (Brosnan), wiping out the soon-to-retire exec's pension and that of his ex-wife, Kate (Thompson). After confronting the unapologetic wheeler-dealer in Paris, they concoct the jewel-heist plot and enlist their friends (
Hilarity doesn't quite ensue, unless the unconvincing sight of four middle-aged people scaling cliffs and chateau walls is what gets you going. A running joke concerning the secret past adventures of Spall's character plays out nicely, though, and avoids the 50-plus pandering that infects much of the hit-and-miss slapstick.
With their unforced magnetism, Brosnan and Thompson are persuasive as exes who still have chemistry. (
"The Love Punch."
MPAA rating: PG-13 for sexual content, language and rude humor.
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.