Love gets better with age, but cliches don’t.
Love is All You Need
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dryholm
Director: Susanne Bier
Rated: R Run Time: 118 m
In the ever weirder cycle of globalization, America increasingly relies on overseas markets to supplement the bottom lines of its endless glut of tired sequels and mega budget special effects action flicks, and in return, most foreign movies play here to modest art house audiences and miniscule media attention. It might help matters if more of the imports weren’t as pleasantly mediocre as this one. A perfectly presentable but regrettably forgettable entry into the mid life romance genre, Love is All You Need, has all the qualities needed for a nice night out at the movies, save one: original scripting.
Danish actress Trine Dryholm is lovely as heroine Ida, a hairdresser who’s having kind of an up and down week: her cancer is in full remission but she comes home to catch her long time husband boinking the office floozy. Still reeling from the shock, Ida absent mindedly backs her car into joyless produce exporter Phillip (Pierce Brosnan) in an airport parking lot. In the “meet cute” coincidence of the century, they are tying to catch the same flight, because their children happen to be getting married to each other. Go figure.
Once they’ve arrived on the scene in Italy, in a picturesque seaside resort located somewhere between the Amalfi Coast and the gates of heaven, the angry widower and the wounded survivor begin to lower their mutual defenses, and begin to recognize something they’ve lost in each other. There are lots of long, wistful strolls through lemon groves and moments when director Susanne Bier pauses the awkwardly paced comedy long enough to stare into the gently lapping Mediterranean waves. The mood is dreamy, and the tempo relaxed, especially for Brosnan, who breezes through the role, sounding like a man who’s been slamming scotch and sodas at lunch. His charm and Dryholm’s assured radiance help float the picture over some very bumpy spots, like the clichéd antics that ensue at the wedding. The performers constantly hint at layers of life experience in their characters that the script never reaches.
Despite the title Love is All You Need , has nothing to do with the Fab Four, and instead the soundtrack groans under the weight of syrupy orchestral versions of standards like That’s Amore, while the lush Italian scenery tries to lull us into complacency. For a time it works, and in nothing else, you may be inclined to check your travel budget.
In English and Danish, with subtitles.