Love Is All You Need: A certain box office hit
by Stefan Dobroiu
03/09/2012 - Among sharks, tai chi and vampires, Susanne Bier's Love Is All You Need [trailer] brings some relief at the Venice Film Festival, where it is being screened out of competition. A certain box office hit in Europe and most probably soon to be remade in the United States, the romantic comedy stars Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm in a fairy tale full of sunsets, sunrises, doves, lemons and Italian enthusiasm.
Screened immediately after Terrence Malick's already controversial To the Wonder, Love Is All You Need follows the misadventures of Ida (Dyrholm, excellent), who has just finished chemotherapy for breast cancer and is preparing for her daughter's wedding in Italy, when she discovers her husband (Kim Bodnia) is having an affair with his young and beautiful accountant. But her marriage is less important than her daughter's, so Ida flies to sunny Sorrento, where Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind) is going to marry Patrick (Sebastian Jessen), although they've known each other for only three months.
The clash of two very different families will entertain the audience, with Pierce Brosnan cast as Philip, Patrick's bitter and sarcastic father. At first, Philip is bewildered by Ida's wide-eyed frankness and naivity, but the two will soon start to become closer despite (or maybe because of) the problems in their families.
Excellent performances, punchlines and the perfect chemistry between Brosnan and Dyrholm make the best of the fifth successful collaboration of Bier with screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen. Although sometimes quite predictable, Love Is All You Need proves to be the feel-good film of this edition of the Mostra and has every chance of entertaining audiences all over the world.
The star of the film is without doubt the gorgeous Dyrholm, whose sincerity and lust for life make Ida one of the most charming characters recently seen on the big screen. Despite her illness and family problems, Ida doesn't forget to enjoy new experiences and those around her (and the audience too) will soon start to see things through her serene and impossibly blue eyes. Totally different is her nemesis Benedikte (a fierce performance from Paprika Steen), Philip's sister-in-law, who has her own plans about the future of the family.
With the joyful rhythms of famous Italian songs, Love Is All You Need allows you to forgive the fact that the story goes in the only possible way and makes you remember the famous saying that it's not the destination, but the journey that counts. Bier's new journey is full of laughter, music and hope and the audience will have a lot of fun with the characters learning simultaneously that going forward is the most important thing in life. A symbol of hope is the omnipresent colour blue: a shirt or a chair, the sky or just Ida's eyes, every frame shot by DoP Morten Soborg has a blue spot in it.