But this time, the writer-director has used her favorite themes to whip up a frothy confection and set it to Dean Martin's mellow "That's Amore."
Pierce Brosnan and an A-list of Danish actors led by Trine Dyrholm,
"Love's" cultural antecedents are international, drawn from
It begins in a Copenhagen oncology office where Ida (Dyrholm), the mother of the bride, is getting ready to learn whether she is cancer-free. Across town, the groom's father, Philip (Brosnan), is in his well-appointed office being overbearing and irritating. Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) and his intended, Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind), are beautiful and bubbly and just arriving at a wonderfully weathered Italian country home where they will be married over the weekend. The house belongs to Philip, who closed it years ago after his wife died.
The table is now beautifully set for the series of disasters that will follow. Ida's son (Micky Skeel Hansen) is shipping out for battle and she's worried. Husband Leif (Bodnia) is discovered in flagrante delicto on the living room couch with younger, blonder co-worker Tilde (Christiane Schaumburg-Müller). With a heavy heart, Ida heads to the airport, where she runs into Philip — literally — her tiny economy car leaving its mark on Philip's Mercedes. It is the first time they've met.
All this turmoil and more will be sorted out before the ceremony as unexpected feelings begin to bloom between Philip and Ida under the Italian sun. Lief and Benedikte (Steen), Philip's sister-in-law, handle the comic relief duties, both actors fearless in offering themselves up for much humiliation.
Though the movie, at least in Bier's portfolio, is a slight work, it still has many of the filmmaker's signatures. Thematically, there are echoes of all that has preceded it. Bier's
The most significant Bier touch — and the one that helps offset any self-indulgence in "Love" — is the authenticity that runs through all her films. Most of those moments involve the incredible Dyrholm. Whether it is the way she portrays Ida dealing with her wig, or gathering up her distraught daughter for a kiss on the forehead, the actress makes it feel absolutely real and absolutely right. There is such nuance to every move, it is easy to see why she is considered one of Denmark's finest.
As a movie, "Love" might not have all you need, but with the mesmerizing Dyrholm, it has enough.
'Love Is All You Need'
MPAA rating: R for brief sexuality, nudity and some language
Running time: 1 hour, 52 minutes; in Danish, English and Italian with English subtitles
Playing: Landmark Theatre, West Los Angeles