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Sverre Anker Ousdal
A Danish woman, Ida (Trine Dyrholm), who has just finished her cancer treatments, walks in on her suffering husband in bed with his young co-worker. She travels alone to their daughter's wedding, which is to take place in Italy, but meets the father of the groom, Philip (Pierce Brosnan), and immediately makes a bad first impression. At the seaside villa where Philip once lived with his wife, conflicts arise not least between the soon-to-be newlyweds. But first impressions fade, and Ida may find her chance for another life. Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
Excellent entertainment for nearly 2 hours, based on an ingenious script with several sub-plots
I saw this film as part of the Ghent filmfestival 2012. Usually I've little interest in feelgood movies, and particularly not when wedding festivities are an integral element. But the synopsis in the filmfestival brochure had that little something that made me book tickets, and I'm not disappointed. That does not mean that important questions of life and death are discussed, but rather that it proves solid entertainment for the whole duration (nearly 2 hours), no more no less. You will forget about the movie later on, to remember only that it was pleasant and amusing throughout.
The story line develops steadily, and all important characters get time to be introduced to the audience. In other words, we really get the chance to know them. These introductions are spread evenly, and luckily not condensed in the first quarter.
Center of the proceedings is hairdresser Ida, who just returned from hospital after a cancer treatment. She is wearing a wig as a result, hence the original title "The bald hairdresser" (possibly for commercial reasons translated to "Love is all you need"). Still not certain about the ultimate success of the cancer treatment, she returns home. There she finds her husband Leif with the much younger Tilde (from "accounting") doing it on the couch. Ida does not take it lightly, and a divorce seems imminent.
As her daughter Astrid will be getting married in Italy within a few days, she travels alone to the airport. In her nerves to park the car in order to catch her flight, she collides with the car of a business man in vegetables (Philip). He happens to be the father of the groom (Patrick), and on his way to the same marriage. This coincidence seems a bit of a stretch as well as statistically impossible. Luckily it is the only thing in this film that I consider far fetched. Combining that encounter with the fact (we learn that later on) that he is a widower, allows us to predict the main story line from that moment on. However... It does not happen that way, at least not exactly.
Apart from the developments around the relationship between Ida and Philip, there are ample opportunities for sub-plots and new characters to be introduced along the line. All this gets gradually interwoven in the story, without giving us a feeling that the film makers are overdoing it. The time that the film takes, much more than the average 90 minutes, offers sufficient room for parallel story lines to develop and come to a (sometimes happy, sometimes not so happy) conclusion. The script mixes all these many ingredients in an ingenious way, and stays believable from start to finish (aforementioned car accident being the only exception).
I don't think it makes any sense to delve deeper in the scenario. Which is next to impossible anyway without revealing how the story develops, and without introducing spoilers in the text. That would take away much of the surprise, a definite no-no, since surprises are the main ingredients out of which this film is made.
Apart from superb casting and acting that we are allowed to witness, the story line (better: story lines) suffice to keep the viewer interested all the time in what will happen next. I could not spot any dull moments, in other words fully qualified entertainment for the whole family. Expecting no more than what the label says, I scored it deservedly with a maximum (5) for the audience award when leaving the theater.
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