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Movie review: 'Love Is All You Need'

Posted 12:08am on Friday, May. 24, 2013

R (brief sexuality, nudity, some strong language); 112 min.


Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier’s excellent tragedies tend to feature the sorts of characters and conflicts that turn up in her newest movie, Love Is All You Need. We meet a heartbroken widower, a breast-cancer survivor, an unfaithful husband, an estranged son, another son headed off to war and a bulimic teenager, and we witness a wedding that is threatening to implode.

But this time, the writer-director has used her favorite themes to whip up a frothy confection and set it to Dean Martin’s mellow That’s Amore.

Pierce Brosnan and an A-list of Danish actors led by Trine Dyrholm, Paprika Steen and Kim Bodnia are on board as its stars. And though Bier isn’t as comfortable with the lighter side of life, the film is a lovely little lark.

It begins in a Copenhagen oncology office where Ida (Dyrholm), the mother of the bride, is getting ready to learn whether she is cancer-free. Across town, the groom’s father, Philip (Brosnan), is in his well-appointed office being overbearing and irritating. Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) and his intended, Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind), are beautiful and bubbly and just arriving at a wonderfully weathered Italian country home where they will be married over the weekend. The house belongs to Philip.

The table is now beautifully set for the series of disasters that will follow. Ida’s son (Micky Skeel Hansen) is shipping out for battle and she’s worried. Husband Leif (Bodnia) is discovered in flagrante delicto on the living room couch with younger, blonder co-worker Tilde (Christiane Schaumburg-Müller). With a heavy heart, Ida heads to the airport, where she runs into Philip — literally — her tiny economy car leaving its mark on Philip’s Mercedes.

All this turmoil and more will be sorted out before the ceremony as unexpected feelings begin to bloom between Philip and Ida under the Italian sun.

As a movie, Love might not have all you need, but with the mesmerizing Dyrholm, it has enough.

Exclusive: Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano

— Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

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