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MOVIE REVIEW: Love is All You Need

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Love Is All You Need is a new romantic comedy from director Susanne Bier.  Bier has had quite a bit of success as an international director as her film After The Wedding was nominated for Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2007; a prize she would win just four years later with her film In a Better World.  Bier’s only English language film to date is the underrated Things We Lost in the FireLove Is All You Need boasts quite an impressive cast with the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Sebastian Jessen, and Molly Blixt Egelind.  The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2012 and later screened at the Toronto International Film Festival 2012.

The story follows Ida (Dyrholm), a hairdresser who has just finished her treatment for breast cancer and comes home to find her husband cheating on her with a much younger girl from his office.  Add to that, her daughter is getting married on a lemon plantation in a little Italian seaside village in only a few days.  Due to her current situation, she is forced to travel alone, and along the way literally bumps into her daughter’s fiancé’s father Philip (Brosnan).  Philip is a widower and hasn’t been back to his lemon plantation since his wife passed years ago.  Much to his dismay, Philip unwillingly helps Ida get to her destination.  Once at the plantation, we get to meet the rest of the family and see the many trials that are facing each of them.  In the process, a new romance is blooming between Philip and Ida, but will family struggles and the past be too much to overcome?

Love Is All You Need is not your typical run-of-the-mill romantic comedy like the ones that are constantly being pumped out of Hollywood.  I almost feel guilty calling this a romantic comedy because there is such a negative connotation that goes along with the term; which is unfair to this movie.  That’s not to say this is a perfect movie by any means, but it’s much more realistic and smarter than most of the other RomCom’s being released these days.  This is a very well written and exceptionally acted movie.  There are some pretty serious real-life issues at play, and I think they are handled with both genuineness and sincerity.  I think Pierce Brosnan is a very underrated actor and he gets to show his range here, and Trine Dyrholm lights up the screen with her smile.  All of the cast members are excellent and the on-screen chemistry seems very real.  The Italian seaside village where the filming took place is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and the lemon plantation is so fundamental to the story that it literally becomes one of the film’s characters.  Even with all of the gorgeous scenery and great acting, there was still something missing for me to totally fall in love with the movie.  There were two key storylines in particular that were pretty much left open ended; which left me scratching my head.  Also, even though it’s to be expected in the movies, everything gets wrapped up with pretty little bow in the end.  It almost felt like a cop-out when dealing with such great material.  Love Is All You Need is a fun summer movie with heart and soul, and I can almost guarantee that you’ll be ready for an Italian vacation by the time the credits roll.

Grade: B

Love Is All You Need opens at Landmark Keystone Crossing on Friday, June 28.