making sitcom lemonade (Love Is All You Need review)
I’m “biast” (pro): have had a crush on Pierce Brosnan since Remington Steele days
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The temptation is impossible to resist, at first: Love Is All You Need! It’s like Mamma Mia! without the singing, and with breast cancer. Ida (Trine Dyrholm [A Royal Affair], who is exquisite in all ways) finds herself traveling alone from Copenhagen to Italy for the wedding of her daughter, Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind), after she walks in on her husband, Leif (Kim Bodnia), boinking ditzy Barbie doll Thilde (Christiane Schaumburg-Müller); “I thought you were at chemo” is Leif’s pathetic excuse. Goofiness piles up from there: Ida literally runs into Philip (Pierce Brosnan: Remember Me), father of Astrid’s fiancé, at the airport… with her car; Leif decides to show up for the wedding with Thilde at his side (she insists she’s Leif’s fiancée); Philip’s horrid sister-in-law Benedikte (Paprika Steen: Forty Shades of Blue) takes over the wedding proceedings in excruciating — though recognizably hilarious — drama-queen style; and of course Astrid and her intended, Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) hit some bumps in the road on the way to the altar. Yet just at the point when it might have tipped over into dreadful sitcomishness, director Susanne Bier — working from a script she wrote with Anders Thomas Jensen (The Duchess) — starts finding achingly poignant moments amidst the familial insanity, as the masks of expectation that everyone is wearing come off and repressed emotion starts showing itself. Conventional dramedy then turns charming and wise, and becomes a delightful story about making the most of whatever life throws at you, and being strong enough to make the right choices even when they’re painful to make. I didn’t expect to be so very moved by the end.