Love Is All You Need – review

An autumn-years romcom set in Italy starring Pierce Brosnan – sound familiar? At least there are no Abba songs

A number of questions occurred to me after watching Mamma Mia! The Movie five years ago but, "Why on earth don't they do a loose remake of this with none of the Abba songs and loads more Danish characters?" wasn't one of them. Susanne Bier is the Danish director who won an Oscar for her tough drama In a Better World, but she has also shown a penchant for syrupy Hollywood drama: two of her Danish films have, in fact, been remade as commercial English-language features.

The resemblance of this odd autumn-years romantic comedy to Mamma Mia! is screamingly obvious. Bier – always shrewdly aware of her movies' position in the marketplace – must surely have been conscious of it throughout the production process. Pierce Brosnan is in both films, and there's that Scandinavian connection. A young couple get married in a fabulous villa in romantic Italy belonging to the groom's grumpy Brit widower dad, Philip (Brosnan). The Danish mother of the bride, Ida (Trine Dyrholm), is a super-brave cancer survivor whose marriage is on the rocks. Of course, they fall for each other, but love is not all you need to have the fantastic Italian estate that's so important to the film's feelgood factor. It's well enough made, yet there's no convincing spark between the leads, and the younger generation's romantic crisis is sketchily motivated. It looks weirdly like a romcom pastiche, not cynical, but not properly inhabited; it doesn't taste of romance or comedy any more than Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup cans taste of soup.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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