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Monday, May 27, 2013

Love is All You Need

Pierce Brosnan stars in romantic summer comedy

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Ida responds with even-tempered emotion to her uncertain prognosis for breast cancer. “I doubt if he even notices one is missing,” she tells her physician, speaking of husband Leif’s response to her recent surgery. That admission says that Ida (Trine Dryholm) and Leif (Kim Bodnia) have slumped into marriage fatigue. Eros has abandoned them, but the presence of Pierce Brosnan in the movie’s credits promises that sparks will fly somewhere, soon enough.

Love is All You Need is a romantic comedy largely set in southern Italy far from Ida and Leif’s chilly Danish homeland. Their daughter Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind) is marrying Patrick (Sebastian Jessen), son of European produce magnet Philip (Brosnan) at the latter’s disused Italian villa, set amidst a glorious grove of lemon trees.

Ida literally runs into Philip en route at the airport parking ramp, backing into his auto while emotionally distracted. She had just stumbled across Leif having sex in their living room with a girl their daughter’s age from his accounting department. They are now traveling separately to Astrid’s wedding—little wonder—but Leif is so dim that he brings the tacky young accountant with him to the party.

Directed by Denmark’s Susanne Bier, best known for grim family dramas such as Brothers and After the Wedding, the anticipated comic effervescence of Love is All You Need never really starts to sparkle and fizz. Possibly, the multi-national, multi-lingual cast can’t find a shared chemistry—or perhaps it’s because Bier is temperamentally better suited to the parts about death and cancer. The plot travels on paths both expected and surprising, yet the main pleasure is the setting. Even if Brosnan looks a bit stiff and lost among all those Danish actors, he’s posing under the warming Mediterranean sun shimmering on the blue sea along a coast of white beaches and rocky coves. Who wouldn’t care to joint him even if the wedding party goes a little out of bounds?

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