Danish romantic comedy, Love Is All You Need, is a gem of a film. Funny, moving and beautifully shot, Susanne Bier’s film features wonderful performances, with Pierce Brosnan again showing that he’s criminally underrated in the acting department.
Bier’s film follows cancer stricken hairdresser, Ida (Trine Dyrholm), as she travels to her daughter’s (Molly Blixt Egelind) wedding in Italy. Ida’s life is in a mess – her husband has traded her in for a younger model and she’s unsure if she has beaten the ‘Big C’. At the wedding she meets Philip (Brosnan), the obnoxious widowed father of the groom (Sebastian Jessen). At first they don’t get along, as Ida’s klutzy care-free-way clashes with Philip’s pent-up seriousness. However, they form a friendship that helps them to begin a new chapter in their lives.
Although this is a romantic comedy, it’s much more textured than most. Love Is All You Need (originally titled, The Bald Hairdresser) is a Danish/ English language film that goes its own way. It’s a lot like the main characters in the film – like Brosnan’s Philip, it adheres to the strict genre conventions, though it’s also a lot like Dyrholm’s Ida in that it has a free, independent spirit.
Dyrholm has a lot to work with as the middle-aged mother coping with her radically changing life. She balances insecurity with strength, delivering a performance that walks a fine line between comedy and drama. Brosnan’s affinity for the material is clear. He gives sterling performance that riffs on his suave persona, while also adding a tenderness that many casual fans rarely get to see. It’s a wonderful performance, again showing that he has the range and the power which will enable him to continue to have a terrific post-Bond career. Fans of Brosnan will have a field day. His performance plays to his skills as an actor, while he also draws on his own personal life. He’s raw, but nuanced.
It may be obvious where Love Is All You Need is headed, but it’s the journey that makes it worthwhile. Dyrholm and Brosnan share great chemistry, while the oddball assortment of colourful supporting characters peppers the film with easy humour. In a time when romantic comedies feel plastic and factory made, Love Is All You Need is a reminder that strong material and good actors can shine a new light on a well worn genre.
It’s always good seeing Pierce Brosnan being interviewed and this disc comes with a solo Brosnan effort and a tag-team interview with Trine Dyrholm. It also includes a trailer. A solid little package.