Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

June 25, 2013

CALLERI: Two films highlight the different effect of having it all

Niagara Gazette — Some people worship having a lot of money and some people know there are traps that go along with being wealthy. Two movies, “Love Is All You Need” and “The Bling Ring,” explore the role money plays in their characters’ lives.

“Love Is All You Need” is a superbly rendered romantic comedy that is completely believable. The realistic film is from noted Danish director Susanne Bier and is written by Anders Thomas Jensen. The bittersweet story centers on Ida, a Copenhagen hairdresser, wonderfully played by Trine Dyrholm. She’s recently finished a harsh regimen of surgery and chemotherapy for breast cancer. She and her husband are supposed to go to Sorrento, Italy for their daughter’s marriage to the son of a successful food broker (a very good Pierce Brosnan). However, when Ida comes home one day, she discovers her husband having sex with a co-worker. She puts on a brave face and is determined not to let this ruin the wedding. Her loutish spouse is also insistent on attending the ceremony, but they are absolutely not going together.

Further complications ensue at the airport and then in Italy, as the wedding week revolves around a series of irritating relatives, missed signals, and tough realizations. Through it all, Ida waits for word from her oncologist that she is cancer-free. Philip the food broker has money, lots of it. The ceremony is taking place at his villa with its seaside views and lemon trees. But he’s a widower and miserable, having never gotten over the death of his wife. He’s not pleased with any of his son’s in-laws, including Ida. Meanwhile, the future bride and groom will experience a bump in the road that you may not see coming.

“Love Is All You Need” is about mismatched souls finding some trust in each other despite the differences between them. Ida and Philip are middle-aged and the specter of cancer and the gloom of widowhood colors their lives. Yes, there’s that lovely villa in spectacular Sorrento, but they are both practical people. Neither is superficial. His money will not buy them happiness. Change will come slowly, if it comes at all. Director Bier has crafted a beautifully acted, life-enhancing comedic gem.

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