Magazine article The Spectator

Cinema the Big Sleep

Magazine article The Spectator

Cinema the Big Sleep

Article excerpt

Love Is All You Need 15, Key Cities

Love Is All You Need is a romantic comedy that isn't romantic or comic or much of anything. It stars Pierce Brosnan as Philip, a widowed, all-work-no-play Englishman working in Denmark whose son is about to get married in Italy. Meanwhile, across town, the mother of the bride, Ida (Trine Dyrholm), a hairdresser who wears a wig because she's lost all her own hair to chemotherapy, has just discovered her husband is playing away from home with pretty young Thilde from accounts.

Films are always full of middle-aged men playing away from home with pretty young Thildes from accounts, but have you ever wandered into a company's accounts department? If you have, I'm betting you didn't exclaim, 'Wow, this room is packed full of hot tottie; this is wall-to-wall Thildes!'

This is one of those cinema tropes I suppose I should be over by now, and would be, if it didn't incense me every time, Actually no, not incense. It just makes me yawn, and not one of those little yawns you can stifle, but one of those big, noisy, exaggerated ones that are also making a point.

Anyway, Philip drives to the airport and Ida drives to the airport and in the airport car park Ida reverses her car into Philip's car. This, it turns out, is the first time they've ever met because brides and grooms never introduce their parents to each other before a wedding, particularly in Copenhagen, where it may actually be against the law.

So Philip and Ida have this prang, and then what happens?

Is it:

1) Philip is so enraged he bursts a blood vessel in his brain, keels over and dies; film over?

2) Ida cannot forgive herself for being such a Stupid Woman Driver so jumps from the top storey of the car park, and breaks her neck; film over?

3) Ida and Philip, being vulnerable and lonely in their own particular ways, eventually fall in love and snuggle up on a bench overlooking the sea, her head on his shoulder?

A spoiler? You really thought it could be 1 or 2? But it's as weird as it's not weird. It's not weird because it's the way things happen in romantic comedies when a woman in a Fiat collides with a man in a Bentley and he shakes his fist at her? It's like when two people who hate each other are forced to work together. …

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