Besides Love, You Need A Plot

20 Apr
April 20, 2013

You can tell from the dopey title—Love Is All You Need-–that this is going to be one of those treacly, predictable, feel-good movies. The plot: rich, grouchy widower meets wide-eyed hairdresser with a heart of gold. He appears to have permanent dyspepsia. She has cancer. Casablanca it isn’t. What’s interesting is that as the world’s demographics change, America has finally decided to acknowledge an aging population and make films for people over 12. But this

is a Danish film, and Europe has always been ahead of us in recognizing that not every film has to cater to teen-age boys and pre-pubescent girls. The stars in this one are the gorgeous but wooden Pierce Brosnan and Danish actress Trine Dyrholm, who is lovely if you can get past her ridiculously over-curled false eyelashes. Of course, they meet cute: she rams into his car in the airport garage and he has a very convincing hissy fit. They are both on their way to Italy, where his son is marrying her daughter. It’s a very thin plot, but pleasant enough. With some beautiful photography of Sorrento, charming old winding streets, a blue blue seashore, and a villa that the wedding party stays in. (Strangely, without any servants to clean or cook for them, it appears.) Much of the scenery is motionless and devoid of people, however, and you get the feeling that it was shot with a green screen and picture postcards were added afterwards. The love story seems to have been shot with a green screen as well, since there’s not much energy or heat in the romance and Brosnan asks Dyrholm to come live with him in Italy without suggesting marriage or even mentioning love. And he doesn’t kiss her until nearly the end of the movie. Must be a Danish thing. Mention must be made of Brosnan’s obnoxious, brassy sister-in-law, the sister of his late wife. You wait for his patience to snap, and when it does he delivers a tirade that everyone would wish they had the courage to deliver to their own nemesis. Not very believable, but oddly satisfying nevertheless. The annoying sister-in-law is played by an actress named Paprika Steen. The name says it all. Other names that had a role in this silly romantic comedy are Susanne Bier, who wrote the story with Anders Thomas Jensen and directed the film. According to the information released by Sony Pictures Classics, which will be distributing the film when it is released in the U.S. later this spring, it was an official selection for the 2012 Venice Film Festival, but was taken out of competition. It was also entered in the Toronto International Film Festival. Love Is All You Need will arrive in Los Angeles and New York in early May. Photo: Pierce Brosnan noses Trine Dyrholm Photo courtesy Sony Picture Classics

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