In new movie The Love Punch, Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan play a divorced couple who come up with a plan to recover money stolen from them by stealing a diamond in France. “There’s no better place to steal a diamond than the south of France,” explains movie director and writer Joel Hopkins. “I was slightly harking back to classic movies like [Alfred Hitchcock’s] To Catch a Thief.”
Thompson and Brosnan’s characters start in Paris and end up in the French Riviera on their adventure. “I wanted it to almost feel like an unintentional second honeymoon for the characters,” says Hopkins. “It slowly gets more and more glamorous, the way they start of in Paris and then head on down to the Cote d’Azur.”
The cast and crew filmed in the iconic French capital for two weeks and the pretty Cote d’Azur for one week. “I wanted the film to hark back to a more innocent time,” explains Hopkins. “In a lot of ways I was looking for old south France, a slightly more romanticised version. It still does exist in pockets.”
Hopkins recalls his top shooting locations from the movie:
Bijou Plage beach club, Cannes
This pretty beach setting is where we see Thompson’s character Kate gatecrash a hen party, then she try to keep up with the other young women by going banana boating and parasailing. “The hen party was very fun,” says Hopkins, “It was a very nice beach club.”
The Texan businessmen and their wives are staying at the Carlton so they can attend a wedding. The British foursome walking in like gangsters with their sunglasses on and then all nip off to the loo. “This is where they kidnap the Texans,” explains Hopkins.
Cap d’Antibes, Côte d’Azur
The foursome then make their way to the wedding by swimming across the sea and scaling a huge rock face. “It’s next to a really fancy hotel called Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc – where all the uber movie stars stay when they go to the Cannes Film Festival,” says Hopkins. “It costs something like a zillion pounds a night. We didn’t film there, but next door to it they’ve got this beautiful old building and this stunning cliff face where you can go down to the water,” he says. “It was such an amazing place, there was a sort of Jacques Cousteau marine museum there.”
In one of the most hilarious scenes in the movie Thompson and Brosnan’s characters embark on a car chase through Paris, with a handful of famous site in the background. “We filmed the Arc de Triomphe, we shot by the Seine for the end scene, and the [Love Lock] bridge with all the padlocks on, with Notre Dame in the background,” says Hopkins.
Port de la Rague, Côte d’Azur
“The dawn scene where Kate says goodbye to Richard and goes off with Jean Baptiste was shot here,” explains Hopkins. “It is next to the lovely old seaside town of Theoule.” Nearby, there are dozens of other sites to visit in the area, says Hopkins. “Head 20 minutes further west and you get to a national park with beautiful red coloured cliffs dropping into the Mediterranean Sea below.”
The Love Punch is released on April 18th 2014, see the trailer here: