Directed by Tom Vaughan / Starring Pierce Brosnan, Selma Hayek, Jessica Alba and Malcolm McDowell
Gordon: Stop talking about my cock, woman!
Every now and then a film comes along that is so utterly horrible that one cannot help but wonder how it ever got made in the first place. Tom Vaughan’s HOW TO MAKE LOVE LIKE AN ENGLISHMAN is that film. Initially it feels like a tired old man rom-com, but by the end seems to become a parody of itself. The film even features moments that are so shocking and ludicrous, that is it hard to imagine anyone ever writing them in the first place.
Pierce Brosnan, who just cannot seem to figure out that nobody likes him anymore, stars as Richard, a romantic poetry professor eagerly trying to inspire the love of the work in his students. He ends up seducing the the much younger Kate (Jessica Alba, remember her?) and they eventually have a child. Skip a few years ahead and Richard has fallen in love with Kate’s sister Olivia (Salma Hayek). He finds out that Kate is cheating on him with co-worker Brian (Ben McKenzie, remember him from The OC?) which makes it the opportune time for him to finally try and sleep with Olivia. The legendary Malcolm McDowell also appears in what may be his worst role ever as Richard’s father Gordon. Yes, you read that correctly. Seventy-two-year-old Malcolm McDowell is playing sixty-two-year-old Pierce Brosnan’s father. It’s confusing, but it is definitely the least of this film’s issues.
Richard is such a chauvinistic prick that it is impossible to understand how anyone could ever sympathize with him. Still, the film paints him as some sort of romantic hero. Richard, along with his father, utter some terribly misogynistic ramblings which are meant to play for laughs, but rather feel like they were taken out of a decade where that was passable as broad comedy.
The film’s final act plays as some sort of slow-motion car accident. By the time Brosnan is chained up in Hannibal Lecter style restraints after being arrested for a non-violent crime it has become impossible to take anything seriously. That may be where the film finally begins to find its footing, as a great unintentional comedy, but by this time, it is too late and the jokes just on all involved. There is nothing HOW TO MAKE LOVE LIKE AN ENGLISHMAN can do to save itself. If this is how Englishman make love, I can’t imagine anyone wanting anything to do with them.