Danish director Susanne Bier seems to be incrementally easing off the dramatic gas with each new release. She began attracting attention in the United States with a strong string of recent films (After the Wedding, Things We Lost in the Fire and In a Better World) that mine deep emotional wounds in her troubled characters. Even with Love Is All You Need, an impending wedding triggers the gathering of two fractured and fracturing families.
Ida (Trine Dyrholm), the mother of the bride (Molly Blixt Egelind) and a very recent cancer survivor, arrives in Italy alone, having recently discovered that her husband has been carrying on an affair during her treatment, but she puts up a brave front for her daughter’s sake. The groom (Sebastian Jessen) seems far too eager to satisfy his repressed workaholic father (Pierce Brosnan), still in mourning and angry over the loss of his wife many years ago. All of which sets the stage for the wounded parents to meet cute and provide some much needed healing for one another. The premise certainly sounds sitcom-ish and is filled with all the expected bits of misadventures and misdirection, but Bier’s touch is deft and surprisingly true to something that actually resembles real life. Now open at Esquire Theatre. (R) Grade: B
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