Love Is All You Need

Directed By: Susanne Bier

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Kim Bodnia, Paprika Steen, Sebastian Jessen, Molly Blixt Egelind, Christiane Schaumburg-Müller, Micky Skeel Hansen, Bodil Jørgensen, and Line Kruse

Is it me or is it déjà vu this weekend?  Last year on this very weekend, Marvel jumpstarted the summer movie season with The Avengers starring Robert Downey, Jr.  This weekend, Marvel is again kicking off the summer with Iron Man 3, once again starring the perfect Tony Stark.  Last year on this very weekend, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a movie about some old folks moving to another country trying to get their mojo back, served as the indie counter-programming to the Marvel tent pole.  This weekend, Love Is All You Need (The Bald Hairdresser), a film about two older folks finding love while on travel, is serving as that indie counter-programming.  This indeed is déjà vu.

Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) and Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind) are getting married in Italy this week.  Astrid's mother Ida (Trine Dyrholm) has just finished her chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.  The now bald hairdresser has done everything in her power to beat this illness.  Though she's unsure of whether she's fully cured of her vicious ailment, she's sure that she's ready to head to Italy for this momentous occasion in her daughter's life.  She's not ready, however, to learn that her husband Leif (Kim Bodnia) has been cheating on her for quite a while now with Thilde (Christiane Schaumburg-Müller), his young sexy co-worker in accounting.  Her week takes another turn for the worse when she gets to the airport.  In the parking lot, she ends up backing into someone else's car.  That someone else happens to be Patrick's father, a fruit merchant by the name of Philip (Pierce Brosnan).

After the car accident, Philip and Ida fly out to Philip's lemon plantation in southern Italy where Patrick and Astrid are getting married.  Things quickly go downhill when Leif arrives with his new "fiancée" Thilde.  Tensions consequently escalate between Ida and Leif though that's not the only trouble in paradise.  Patrick and Astrid each begin having doubts about their pending nuptials.  Patrick is keeping something in the closet, and Astrid is bothered by the fact that she’s not getting any attention or affection from her husband-to-be as of late.  Meanwhile, Patrick's aunt Benedikte (Paprika Steen) is trying to rekindle a flame that never existed between herself and Philip — her late sister's husband.  As all this craziness unfolds on an Italian lemon plantation, an odd romance begins to blossom between Philip and Ida.

Love Is All You Need is one quirky, offbeat romantic comedy that's pretty amusing on the whole.  Though it's thoroughly entertaining, there's nothing uproariously funny about the film.  The strength of this romantic comedy can be found in the scenery which builds a lovely, peaceful ambiance throughout the movie.  There's the natural beauty of the lemon plantation and the flora there.  There's the majestic beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.  There's the quaint, peaceful charm of southern Italy.  Love Is All You Need is a visual treat that makes me want to pack my bags and hit the road.

The actors deliver solid performances throughout this Danish romantic comedy.  As our lead Philip, Pierce Brosnan gets to put all of his wit and charms on display here.  The former 007 transitions his character from a grumpy executive to a smooth old charmer.  It's basically Pierce Brosnan playing Pierce Brosnan on camera.  For her part as our other lead Ida, Trine Dyrholm layers her character and gives Ida some depth.  Obviously, she shows her softer side during her more touching moments with Brosnan on screen, but Dyrholm also gives us the scared cancer patient who is unsure of whether she's snatched victory over her illness from the jaws of defeat.  I do have to note that the 41 year-old Danish actress looks pretty old because she looks like a reasonable match for the nearly 60 year-old Brosnan.  Other standouts in the cast are Paprika Steen in her comical performance as Patrick's aunt Benedikte and Kim Bodnia in his amusing role as Ida's unfaithful husband Leif.

All in all, Love Is All You Need is a decent romantic comedy.  Though fun and lighthearted, this Danish flick is nothing special.  If you're not going with everyone else to see Iron Man 3 and are looking for something a little more low-key, grab a few glasses of Frascati and check out this charming little film. Love Is All You Need gets a 0.06% rating.