Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022) Sundance London

June 7th, 2022
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Sophie Hide; Cast: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack, Isabella Laughland; UK 2022, 97 min.

Emma Thompson is the star turn in this comedy of manners between a male sex worker and a middle-aged, widowed woman – unfortunately the outcome is not as funny as planned.

Nancy Stokes (Thompson) feels rather short-changed on the sex front after a long marriage leaves her unsatisfied and determined to remedy the situation. And she hopes hunky sex worker Leo Grande (McCormack) will make her life complete, between the sheets. The two meet in a hotel room in Norwich with the aim of giving Nancy her first orgasm – although McCormack is no Richard Gere from American Gigolo, he is certainly pleasant and playful in dealing with Nancy’s technical list driven approach to intercourse which sees him coming up against barriers, and we don’t mean just on the condom front.  Soon the two are in a psychological clinch: Leo has obvious Mummy issues – being rejected for enjoying girls and drugs. The outcome is never in doubt, after all, this is a British feel-good fuck flick.

Good Luck suffers from the rather claustrophobic setting set – the hotel bedroom (and its Norwich location, bringing to mind Alan Partridge) gives DoP Bryan Mason very little to play with in a film spoilt by its rather clumsy script.

Thompson once again makes this warchable, McCormack tries his best to make his part believable. But Good Luck doesn’t flow – possibly intentionally: this is theatre, the verbal exchanges are awkward, the whole exercise hampered by the need for witty repartee. Not a big screen outing then but ideal for a rainy Sunday afternoon in front of the TV. AS

SUNDANCE LONDON | JUNE 2022

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