Friday, May 31, 2013

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED Needs More Than Likable Leads And Pretty Scenery

Opening today in the Triangle area at the Raleigh Grande 16 in Raleigh, and the Chelsea Theater in Chapel Hill:

(Dir. Susanne Bier, 2012)

With its lush yellow-toned poster featuring Trine Dyrholm in the arms of Pierce Brosnan against the backdrop of the seaside village of Sorrento, Italy, and its sun-drenched opening shots of that location set to the Dean Martin standard “That’s Amore,” Susanne Bier’s newest film sets us up for a piece of chick flick cheese.

And for the most part it is, but thankfully, even with the rom com trappings of a wedding that brings two people together that aren’t the bride and groom, LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED largely doesn’t go for cheap laughs. It’s a rom drama you see, and when it sticks to the strengths of the likable leads it has a genuine heart to it. It’s when it strays to the underwritten and predictable predicaments of the rest of the cast, that it falters.

Dyrholm, unknown ‘round these parts but a star in Denmark, plays a long married woman who finds out her husband (Kim Bodnia) has been cheating on her while she’s been undergoing treatment for Cancer. Because of the chemo, the demure Dyrholm wears a long blonde wig (the film’s Danish title, DEN SKALDEDE FRISOR translates to THE BALD HAIRDRESSER).

Without her no good husband, Dyrholm travels to Italy from Copenhagen to go to her daughter’s (Molly Blixt Egelind) wedding, but on the way at the airport she runs into (literally in her car) Brosnan as one of modern cinema’s most enduring clichés – the cold overworked businessman who’s always on the phone, and doesn’t have his priorities in place. Brosnan is on his way to the same wedding, that of his son (Sebastian Jessen) to Egelind, so, of course, they share a cab when they get there.

You know the drill – the couple, inevitably fated to be lovers, are annoyed by one another, but circumstances bring them together. Brosnan is a widower whose deceased wife’s sister (the delightfully obnoxious Paprika Steen, veteran of two previous films with director Bier) has had the hots for him for ages.

Meanwhile, it’s pretty obvious that Brosnan’s son Jessen, is gay so there’s that thread in this not fully fleshed out farcical framework, as well as the oafish Bodnia’s floozy fiancé (Christiane Schaumburg-Müller) that he stupidly brings along to the event with no consideration to Dyrholm. These all appear to be misplaced conventions for an all out comedy all bouncing off each other in a lavish Italian villa, and they clash inappropriately with the chemistry Brosnan and Dyrholm have together.

Folks should also note, especially folks that hate subtitles, that this is a Foreign film for the most part. The former James Bond, Brosnan, speaks the Queen’s English, but his character is fluent in other languages, which is handy because 70% of the movie is spoken in Danish.

Gorgeously shot by cinematographer Morten Søborg, LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED has its charms, but it really needs more than the likability of its leads and its pretty scenery to make it anything special.

More later...


Anish Panicker said...

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Thanks sir

Anish Panicker said...

Really beautiful write up sir.., inspiration for bloggers like me...

Thanks from