The cliché-averse Love is all you Need is a romantic comedy following grumpy widower Philip (Pierce Brosnan) and optimistic cancer patient Ida (Trine Dryholm). As they accidentally meet each other en route to their respective children’s wedding in Italy, they are faced with amorous sister-in-law (Paprika Steen) and an errant husband (Kim Bodnia) as well as their own boisterous emotions.
A wedding under the Mediterranean sun, simple dresses in a long loved location, friends and families from far destinations join to celebrate the love of Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind) and Patrick (Sebastian Jessen). All this and Pierce Bronson is enough to make you think you are about to watch Mamma Mia again-excluding the Abba songs. There may be many similarities to the Abba-powered musical, but this Danish love story directed by the esteemed Susanne Bier delivers a more realistic story focusing on many different emotional needs. The film presents everyday dilemmas accompanied by twists and turns (which you may expect) on the beautiful Italian coast, surrounded by lemons, which ultimately makes an endearingly pleasing film.
As much as I find Trine Dyrholm’s performance utterly irritating, she captures the essence of Ida perfectly. As she faces countless complications of her own, she always thinks of those around her and is implausible and somewhat irritating in her kindness. In contrast Pierce Brosnan perfectly plays a grumpy boss of a fruit company, unable to feel any emotion but anger and misery. That is until he meets Ida. Susanne Bier’s parody of Mamma Mia shares the same characteristics, storyline and even the same catchphrase; “with every wedding comes a few surprises”.
If you loved Mamma Mia then you will love Love is All You Need. It is a charming, charismatic and rewarding film which offers laughter, happiness and tears. The beautiful picturesque location along with pleasing performances creates a delightful spirit which ultimately makes the film a pleasant one. If you’re in the mood to watch a film which will make you smile, then Love is All You Need is perfect for you.
Review by LiveWire Young Film Critic, Megan Al-Ghailani (April ’13)