After the untimely death of his daughter, Paul Raymond reflects on his life. Rising from a mind-reading act, Raymond grew to have a fabulously successful career as an erotica magnate that would make him the richest man in Britain. However, for all his material success, Paul's appetites mess up his personal life, such as alienating his wife with his philandering. Furthermore, even as he challenged his society's sexual mores, Paul's relationship with his daughter proves troublingly problematic as she came of age. While trying to be the best father he could, Paul gradually comes to realize that his proclivities have impoverished him in ways that mere money cannot address. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The film's working title, The King of Soho, had to be dropped after the threat of legal action by Paul Raymond's son, Howard, who was already developing a project of the same name about his father's life. See more »
Recounting the life of porn king and entrepreneur Paul Raymond, THE LOOK OF LOVE tells the story of a self-made man, born Geoffrey Quinn, who rose to become Britain's richest man. He achieved this by buying innumerable properties and setting up a porn empire that at its height included the Raymond Revuebar, the Windmill Theatre, the Whitehall Theatre, plus two best-selling magazines, "Men Only" and "Club International." Despite such success, Raymond - as characterized by Steve Coogan - remained a fundamentally unhappy man. Obsessed with the idea of proving his virility, he spent most of his time bedding young women as well as taking vicarious pleasure in watching women perform various sex acts on stage. Although his daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots) was devoted to him, Raymond remained indifferent to her - unless, that is, she could make more money for him, He cast her in an ill-starred revue, "Royalty Follies," in a leading role for which she was completely unsuited. The only time Raymond actually missed her was at her death due to a drug overdose. Michael Winterbottom's film makes no judgment on Raymond, but nonetheless suggests the emptiness of the world he created - neither titillating nor sexy, it simply treated women as objects. The film does a brilliant job of recreating the seedy Soho world of the Sixties and Seventies, with its grimy streets and tatty shops. Steve Coogan does a wonderful job in the leading role; he is proving to be a talented performer in a variety of vehicles. THE LOOK OF LOVE contains a gallery of cameo roles from British comedians, including Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, David Wallians and Miles Jupp; but its story remains a fundamentally melancholy one to tell.
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