Wednesday, 22 May 2013

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Hubbies will snore. Wifeys will laugh and swoon. Yes folks, it's a post-menopausal chick-flick not unlike "HOPE SPRINGS". Only it's partly in Danish. This doesn't help.

Love is All You Need (2012) **
dir. Susanne Bier
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Paprika Steen

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Some movies to me are just so utterly, reprehensibly, unrelentingly sickening I feel an immediate need to check myself into Emergency. Love is All You Need is just such a movie. There is, however, one salient difference between it and similar lumps of cinematic viscous like the Sex and the City movies, anything starring Sarah Jessica Parker and virtually every "chick flick" of both the pre-and-post-menopausal variety made by men.

Love is All You Need is almost good - or rather, made by a woman and aimed at women, it's good for what it is. This I'll admit, is not an especially ringing endorsement, as the movie appears to be aimed at a herd of dull, unimaginative and quite possibly stupid members of the female persuasion.

The picture carries the weighty pedigree of director Susanne Bier - a stalwart camera jockey who made a well written (by Anders Thomas Jensen), but boringly directed movie called Hævnen (AKA In a Better World) which, inexplicably won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in a year when it was up against a number of truly fine and challenging films. Then again, this was the immortal 83rd Academy Awards when the execrable The King's Speech swept all the major prizes, so chances are good Oscar was wearing his extra-strength Dunce-Cap with considerable gusto and pride. Still, Bier handles the slightly offbeat romantic comedy proceedings of Love is All You Need with the requisite skill one would expect from a first-rate camera jockey.

But, my God, the picture is sickening! So much so that I practically needed to nail my feet to the floor in order to stop me from bolting after ten minutes. What's even more sickening is realizing just how many people (of a certain persuasion) might actually enjoy it. (I have to keep reminding myself that we're in the Decline of Western Civilization.)

Basically, we've got ourselves a sexy, slightly post-menopausal Danish housewife who is recovering from breast cancer. Her nebbish hubby is boinking his insanely young bookkeeper and dumps wifey for the more decidedly pert pastures of a woman barely out of the cradle.

And wouldn't you know it?

All this is happening on the eve in which our middle aged Danish Treat and her chunky, loutish, bone-headed philandering hubby are about to jet off to Italy to marry their sexy daughter off to the hunky son of an incredibly rich fresh fruit magnate.

The Fruit Man is played by none other than Pierce Brosnan. In all fairness, he acquits himself very well as the romantic male lead just as Trine Dyrholm does as his female counterpart. For the life of me, though (and perhaps I was daydreaming about William Friedkin's Killer Joe and missed something), but I simply couldn't figure out how or why this Brit had a company in Denmark, had all sorts of co-workers yapping at him in Danish, while he replied in English. I mean really, now. At least we in the audience had English subtitles. Pierce had none. Nor, of course, did any of the happy Danes have English subtitles. In spite of this, both parties seemed to do quite well in the understanding-each-other-sweepstakes. Let's hear it for the United Nations!

Okay, now wait for it. I'm about to reveal something extra-sickening.

Are you ready?


The Sexy Fruit Man and the Sexy Danish Treat de la Hausfrau meet...

- Oh, Christ!

Dare I say it?

God, did I even believe it was happening when it was happening?

Was it really so hard for me to just get up and leave at this point?

I stayed, however, and can live to now tell you the tale.

Besides, you probably guessed it.


Both of them are in the airport parking lot on the way to Italy and whammo! Danish Lady slams her car into Fruit Man's. Hilarity ensues.

Can it get more sickening than this? Oh, you bet.

Once we get to Italy and the predictable romantic roundelays play out, I realized then and there just how skilfully simmered this bowl of oatmeal with flakes of bran (and a side of prune juice) actually was. No offence to the ladies, but the biggest and most sustained laughs came from the feminine persuasion in the audience (and believe me, none of them looked like they ventured too far from the suburbs).

Then it hit me - the nightmare scenario: Every middle aged hubby of the bourgeois persuasion will be dragged to this movie by their equally bourgeois middle aged wives. The wives will be yucking it up twixt having to violently elbow their hubbies to stop them from snoring. I experienced this horror all by my lonesome when I went to see the insufferable Hope Springs. Luckily my wife wouldn't be caught dead at a movie like that. She has, what is referred to by some as, taste. As I suffered through Meryl Streep trying to bring romance back into her marriage with Tommy Lee Jones, all I could hear was - you guessed it - the laughter of women and the snores of their hubbies and the occasional elbow slams into their ribs.

Love is All You Need is pretty much more of the same.

Only much of it is in Danish.

Not that it helps.

"Love is All You Need" is currently in theatrical release via Mongrel Media.