Pitched somewhere between a frothy Hollywood romantic comedy and a more sophisticated European family drama, Susanne Bier’s Love Is All You Need succeeds as neither. Like a typical rom-com, it starts with a meet-cute, as self-centered food-import executive Philip (Pierce Brosnan) literally runs into meek hairdresser Ida (Trine Dyrholm) in an airport parking garage. As they’re arguing over who is at fault for their fender bender, they discover that they are both on their way to Italy for a wedding: Philip’s son Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) is marrying Ida’s daughter Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind). What are the odds?
Despite the obvious plot contrivances, the movie plays out with a degree of subtlety that would never be found in a Hollywood version of the same story. Unfortunately, that subtlety often comes off as lethargy, and it doesn’t make the plot any less predictable (Bier trusts that audiences will have connected the dots for themselves, which they certainly will). With about half the dialogue in English and half in Danish, the stars often seem to be acting right past each other, and Brosnan and Dyrholm have very little chemistry (the subplot about their children’s pre-marital doubts proves to be more interesting).
Bier shoots in some lovely locations, and there are occasional poignant moments amid the banality, as well as a few funny lines. There might be nothing obnoxious or insulting about Love Is All You Need, but there’s nothing particularly memorable about it, either.