making sitcom lemonade (Love Is All You Need review)

Get new reviews in your email in-box or in an app by becoming a paid Substack subscriber or Patreon patron.

Love Is All You Need green light Pierce Brosnan Trine Dyrholm

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.

share and enjoy
If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.
If you haven’t commented here before, your first comment will be held for MaryAnn’s approval. This is an anti-spam, anti-troll, anti-abuse measure. If your comment is not spam, trollish, or abusive, it will be approved, and all your future comments will post immediately. (Further comments may still be deleted if spammy, trollish, or abusive, and continued such behavior will get your account deleted and banned.)
notify of
1 Comment
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments
Sun, Apr 28, 2013 2:39pm

The trailer didn’t promise anything like this – just the usual wacky hijinks and eventual redemption. Perhaps someone should make real trailers for people who aren’t scared of non-identikit films?