It's a universal theme that runs though out movies made across the globe, it's a simple yet powerful one. That theme is the title of the movie "Love Is All You Need" a story about finding what you need when you least expect it.
A hairdresser (Trine Dyrholm) who has recently recovered from cancer finds out her husband is having an affair. But while she's on her way to Italy for her daughter's wedding, she meets a widower (Pierce Brosnan) who also happens to be the father of the groom and is still blaming the world for the loss of his wife so many years ago and you never known what will happen when two kindred and bruised souls end up encountering one another.
An unquestionably sweet movie, it is nice to know that in Denmark they make Julia Roberts style movies just like we do here in North America. Running through every bullet point of the midlife romantic comedy, writer/director Susanne Bier's follow up to the brilliant "In A Better World" takes an interesting tonal shift from her previous work. The setting in Italy is certainly idyllic but with the exception of some variance in the beats accounting for the European setting, this film really plays like a run of the mill romantic comedy. It's complete with the oafish husband who cheats on his sick wife, the vampy and self-involved sister in law whose always secretly had the hots for her brother in law, the young couple who aren't entirely sure if they want to get married, and every familial stereotype and archetype that you can imagine along the way. It works well enough, but you can telegraph it a little too much and a movie isn't necessarily as fun if you can predict every beat in the narrative along the way. The film avoids any truly sickly sweet trappings that some Hollywood films can fall prey to, but nothing all that original was put on the table for audiences either. This could have really fallen of the cliff of banality if not for some wonderful performances from our two leading actors.
Trine Dyrholm has quickly elevated her game and is easily one of the most recognized actresses on screens outside of North America and as our unassuming hairdresser Ida, we see a woman where happiness isn't necessarily in the cards, but is just more concerned with her survival not only from cancer but in the day to day act of living and isn't really built to take chances. That being said she does quickly blossom as her character takes chances and for the first time ever become her own woman as she decides to begin living her life. She takes us on a journey of self discovery that is never too late to take and it is a wonder to watch unfold. Pierce Brosnan matches her turn for turn as Phillip, the widower who never really allowed himself to let go and move on. He does a wonderful job, mirroring the sense of hesitation in both of these people, they have great chemistry together and work wonders together on screen. The rest of the ensemble comes in with performances ranging anywhere from decent to laughable, it is however the two leads that truly save this film from the muck.
The picture quality on the Blu-Ray simple sparkles and the special features include a feature length commentary track with star Pierce Brosnan and writer/director Susanne Bier, a Q&A session with Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen, Cast Interviews from the Venice Film Festival and a behind the scenes look with Trine Dyrholm.
At the end of the day; "Love Is All You Need" hits the demographic that it wanted to and is decent enough despite not really bringing anything to the table thanks to some great performances from Trine Dyrholm and Pierce Brosnan.
3 out of 5 stars.
"Love Is All You Need" is available to rent on DVD, Blu-Ray and On Demand from all major providers. You can also find it for purchase from retailers like HMV, iTunes and amazon.ca.