The director Susanne Bier is acclaimed for hard-hitting dramas, both in Hollywood (“Things We Lost in the Fire”) and in her native Denmark (the Oscar-winning “In a Better World”). She’s the last person you’d think of for a light romantic trifle like “Love Is All You Need.”
Ida (Trina Dyrholm) is a hairdresser who just finished chemo treatments, only to find her husband, Leif (Kim Bodnia), is having an affair. At the airport, Ida literally runs into Philip (Pierce Brosnan), a widowed produce merchant, and they realize that they are flying to Italy for the same reason: His son Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) is marrying her daughter Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind).
Bier and her regular writer, Anders Thomas Jensen, fumble the genre’s comic contrivances — which include Philip’s too-loud sister-in-law (Paprika Steen) and Leif’s new girlfriend (Christiane Schaumburg-Müller). Eventually Bier finds a touching strain of drama in Ida and Philip’s tenderly late-blooming romance, but it’s a slow hike getting there.
‘Love Is All You Need’
Opens today at Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated R for brief sexuality, nudity and some language; mostly in Danish with subtitles; 116 minutes.