Dane Susanne Bier was the director of the Academy Award and Golden Globe winning film In a Better World in 2010. This time she brings us a romantic comedy set largely in Sorrento, Italy. A romance in a romantic setting.
Philip (Pierce Brosnan – Die Another Day, Mamma Mia!) is an Englishman who is living in Denmark. He runs a produce supply company and is very well off. The gruff Philip’s wife is dead and he seems perfectly happy living the rest of his life alone.
Ida (Trine Dyrholm – A Royal Affair) is a hairdresser who has just finished her chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. She is married to Leif (Kim Bodnia – In a Better World) and has just walked in on him having sex on their couch with his young co-worker, Thilde (Christiane Schaumburg-Muller). Upset beyond words, Ida gets into her car and drives to the airport as she is to leave for Italy to attend her daughter Astrid’s (Molly Blixt Egelind) to Philip’s son Patrick (Sebastian Jessen).
As her misfortune would happen she gets into an accident while parking her car at the airport. Things get even worse when it turns out that the car Ida has hit is Philip’s Bentley. Not exactly your perfect meeting.
They travel together to the seaside villa where Philip used to live with his wife. This is where the wedding is going to take place. In short order the lives of Philip and Trine are intertwined in a way they could not have expected.
With romantic comedies the chemistry between the two leads is paramount. If they don’t play well off each other then no matter how good a story you have the picture will fail. In Susanne Bier’s film it is even more important than usual as one lead speaks English while the other speaks Danish.
The two families in the film are dysfunctional, but relatable. Each side has secrets that they keep from one another, but underneath it all they love one another. It is a universal scenario that many have faced in their own lives. As the film goes on we get to learn more and more about these characters and become more invested in what is going on. The main story gets interwoven with several sub-plots making it a more interesting concoction. What is most important is that Bier keeps everything very realistic.
As you are watching you are kept interested for several reasons. As stated it is very realistic, the story is interesting and the acting, especially by Trine Dyrholm, is strong. If you are looking for a film that has a big heart and is entertaining pick this one up.
Big questions about life and death are not answered in this film; that is not its purpose, but it does not render it any less enjoyable. Nothing is new or original about the film and yet because it has such a warm and uplifting nature to it Love is All You Need becomes enjoyable.
-Q+A with Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen
-Behind the Scenes with Trine Dyrholm: Venice Film Festival 2012
-Pierce Brosnan + Trine Dyrholm Interview
-Pierce Brosnan Interview
-Previews of Blu-ray Disc, Blue Jasmine, I’m So Excited, Before Midnight, Fill the Void, At Any Price