At times, “Love Is All You Need” — the original Danish title, “The Bald Hairdresser” (“Den Skaldede Frisr”), is more distinctive if arguably less inviting — seems to be a 116-minute promo to attract investors for a likely Hollywood remake, with Meryl Streep or perhaps Sandra Bullock in the lead role.
The recasting would be a shame, because Trine Dyrholm — nominated for the Danish equivalent of the Best Actress Oscar for her performance here — is the best thing about this pat, conventional comedy-drama of romantic reassurance for middle-age moviegoers and their mothers.
Philip, an Englishman living in Denmark, is a lonely, middle-aged widower and estranged single father. Ida is a Danish hairdresser, recuperating from a long bout ...
Rating: R for brief sexuality, nudity and some language
Length: 100 minutes
Released: May 3, 2013 NY/LA
Cast: Trine Dyrholm, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Bodnia, Paprika Steen, Christiane Schaumburg-Müller
Director: Susanne Bier
Writer: Anders Thomas Jensen
Directed and co-scripted by Susanne Bier (“After the Wedding”), the movie will be mistaken for an “art film” only by those who reflexively equate subtitles with deep thinking.
Even the captioning is intermittent: Much — perhaps most — of the film is in English, thanks to the presence of Pierce Brosnan as a rich, handsome, uptight business executive and unlikely if inevitable love interest for Dyrholm, cast as a cancer-battling middle-class hairdresser who discovers her no-good husband prefers younger women who still have a full head of hair and both breasts. “I thought you were at chemo,” is the husband’s truly despicable protest, when discovered in flagrante.
The hairdresser and the businessman meet cute during a parking-garage fender-bender; from then on, you just wait for the chambers to click into place as the story cycles through its mechanical motions and shifts from Copenhagen to Southern Italy, where our leads discover they are to be future in-laws, thanks to the marriage of their children (Sebastian Jessen and Molly Blixt Egelind).
The nuptials hold little interest for the former James Bond. “I’m a guy who’s chosen to be by himself, simple as that,” explains the businessman; but, of course, we know he is as doomed by the snares of the surprise-free narrative as a naughty teenager at Camp Crystal Lake.
Dyrholm is wonderful, the rest of the cast is likable (kudos to Paprika Steen as an “awful” aunt), and the Italian locations are as lovely as the soundtrack’s reliance on “That’s Amore” is unimaginative. You must know by now if this movie is for you; if it is, you will find it exclusively at the Malco Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.