Who would have thought the life story of Britain's version of Hugh Hefner would be boring?
In the titillating but ultimately empty biopic "The Look of Love," Steve Coogan stars as Paul Raymond, dubbed "The King of Soho" for his vast real-estate holdings and his empire of strip shows and nudie magazines.
Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom, who traveled a similar biographical road with "24 Hour Party People," capture Raymond's career from the prim '50s through the explosive '60s and cocaine-fueled '70s and '80s.
But there's a dreary repetition about Raymond's story as he pursues success and random sex through two marriages (played by Anna Friel and Tamsin Egerton) and a tumultuous relationship with his daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots). Coogan is adept at playing the cad, but Winterbottom gives him little else to do.
'The Look of Love'
Opens Friday, July 26, at Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably NC-17 for sexuality and explicit nudity; 101 minutes.