Love Is All You Need (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/04/2013

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 116 mins

Hugely enjoyable, utterly charming middle-aged romcom that delivers genuine laughs and powerful emotion, thanks to a warm-hearted script, superb performances and assured direction from Danish director Susanne Bier.

What's it all about?
Directed by Susanne Bier, Love Is All You Need (or Den skaldede frisør, original title fans, which translates as The Bald Hairdresser) stars Trine Dyrholm as Ida, a kind-hearted hairdresser who is recovering from cancer treatment and is shocked when she discovers her boorish husband Leif (Kim Bodnia) has been sleeping with Tilde (Christiane Schaumberg-Mueller) ‘from accounts’ and intends to marry her. Leaving Leif to his own devices, Ida heads to Sorrento to attend the wedding of her daughter Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind), but finds herself falling for the groom's widowed father Philip (Pierce Brosnan) in the process, after first rear-ending him with her car in the airport car park.

Things quickly get more complicated in Italy when Leif obliviously shows up with Tilde in tow, Astrid expresses doubts about husband-to-be Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) and Philip is aggressively pursued by his sister-in-law Benedikte (Paprika Steen), who announces that she's always known there was something between them.

The Good
A middle-aged, light-hearted romcom might seem like something of a departure for acclaimed director Susanne Bier, whose previous film was the Oscar-winning In A Better World. However, her touch is strongly evident here, investing the characters with powerful, heartfelt emotion that feels real and transcends the script's more clichéd, traditional romcom elements.

Trine Dyrholm is wonderful as Ida, delivering a warm, open-hearted performance that is a pleasure to watch; she also has strong chemistry with Brosnan, who responds with one of his best performances as Philip, a man who had grown emotionally cold due to the tragic death of his wife and who slowly rediscovers love as a result of meeting Ida. There's also terrific support from the always-reliable Paprika Steen, who's on top comic form as the man-hungry Benedikte, while Kim Bodnia has a hilarious line in blank-faced insensitivity; his reaction when Ida first catches him with Tilde is one of several unexpected comic highlights.

The Great
The film is also beautifully shot, with Morten Soborg's sun-drenched cinematography making the most of the gorgeous Amalfi coast locations (the heavenly scenery coupled with Brosnan's presence means you could be forgiven for thinking of this as Mamma Mia without the songs). There's also an appropriately romantic soundtrack, though it's slightly guilty of overusing Dean Martin's That's Amore, which should be banned from romcoms at this point anyway.

Worth seeing?
Love Is All You Need is a warm-hearted, genuinely moving and frequently laugh-out-loud funny romcom with a charming script and a terrific central performance from Trine Dyrholm. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Love Is All You Need (15)
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Content updated: 22/10/2017 10:49

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