Getting to Know You
Having finished her chemo treatments, hairdresser Ida (Trine Dyrholm) returns home in a positive mood only to find her husband doing the girl from his accounts department on the sofa which once belonged to her grandmother. It leads to Ida heading off to Italy on her own for their daughter Astrid's (Molly Blixt Egelind) wedding to Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) which for Ida doesn't go well as not only does her luggage get lost but things are a little bumpy when she meets Patrick's father, Philip (Pierce Brosnan - Bag of Bones), for the first time. Whilst both Astrid and Patrick find themselves having doubts about getting married, Philip, who is both cold and abrupt, finds himself warming to Ida who has a smile which will light up a room.
I will say now that this review of "Love Is All You Need" contains spoilers although I am sure even the most casual of movie fans will spot certain things in this movie before they get properly revealed. Now the set up is simple as we have this wedding in Italy, in the abandoned home of Philip in amongst the lemon groves which he hasn't really visited since his wife died years earlier. And we have a variety of people there from Ida and Philip to Ida's husband, the girl from accounts, Ida's angry son, and Philip's sister in law who has always had feelings for him as well as some minor characters. As such during the lead up to the wedding day we have various dramas from Philip telling his scheming sister in law that there is no way he could love to Ida's son attacking his father on the dance floor. Whilst all this is going on we also have the question as to whether the marriage will go through or not and to be honest I saw where this was going long before the reveal came.
But all this drama, all these issues run along side the main part of the storyline which is the blossoming friendship which forms between Ida and Philip as despite a less than successful first meet they end up becoming close. It sounds cliche when in truth it doesn't feel that way at all thanks to the character depth which gives it colour. What I mean is that we have Ida who having had chemo, lost her hair and had her right breast removed has this wonderful spirit whilst Philip who having become cold and emotionless since the depth of his wife shows a real caring side. I said it sounds cliche right down to Ida feeling like she should stay with her husband after he begs for forgiveness but there is a simple honesty to this romantic storyline which charms you.
What also charms you are the two central performances with Trine Dyrholm a complete revelation to me having never seen her in anything else. The way she delivers the positive nature of Ida but at the same time with some self esteem issues makes the character so real and as I said she has a smile which lights up the room. As for Pierce Brosnan there is plenty of the usual charm from the former Bond actor yet you get a sense that he felt a real connection to the story and many of those moments of emotion were drawing on his own experiences and pain.
What this all boils down to is that "Love Is All You Need" in a way isn't anything new and as such is a little predictable but there is such a warmth to the way this movie comes together with characters who you end up caring about that somehow the familiar nature of the storyline isn't in the least bit important. Oh and whilst this is a movie with a predominant Danish cast it is delivered in a mix of Danish and English which for those who tend to avoid movies in foreign languages makes it a lot easier to follow.