Director: Susanne Bier
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Paprika Steen
Watch Love Is All You Need online in the UK: BBC iPlayer / iTunes / TalkTalk TV / Google Play / Rakuten TV / Sky Store
We don’t know Phillip. We don’t know Ida. We know that he’s a lonely Englishman who sells vegetables and looks an awful lot like an old Pierce Brosnan. We know that she’s a former cancer patient, recovering from chemotherapy who has no hair. Still, we don’t know them. We have no reason to give a flying horse fart about either of them or their romantic attachments.
But halfway through Susanne Bier’s Love Is All You Need, a funny thing happened: we started to care. We actually wanted to know whether these two middle-aged adults would get together at their children’s wedding in Greece. We worried that they might not. It took all our restraint not to shout at the screen: “JUST KISS HIM YOU BALD IDIOT, HE’S JAMES RUDDY BOND!”
Is it the cast’s natural charm that melted our stony innards? Dodgy Brit accent aside, Brosnan’s stiff-lipped businessman is believably callow. Even his attempts at socialising are painfully funny to witness. Trine Dyrholm, meanwhile, breaks everything she stumbles into, gazing around her with a wide-eyed vulnerability that’s just adorable. Together, they make for a surprisingly good screen couple.
More important than that, though, they seem real. In fact, the whole ensemble do. Yep, even the supporting characters like the token gay one and the spoilt sister. That’s the secret to Susanne’s script: it’s by no means perfect, devoid of cliche or even tightly written, but the messy emotional ties and awkward dinner conversations smack of sincerity. (The fact that it’s all shot beautifully, capturing Ida taking off her wig as delicately as it does the stunning Greek sunsets, only makes the story even easier to swallow.)
A rich guy who looks like Pierce Brosnan falling in love with a Danish woman on a picture-perfect Greek island? That’s realistic? Hell yes, it is. Love Is All You Need is a moving, funny and delightfully sweet drama that rings with emotional truth. And if anyone says otherwise, we couldn’t care less.
Love Is All You Need is available on BBC iPlayer until Sunday 26th April 2019.
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