Love Is All You Need

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Love Is All You Need Movie Poster Image
Older teens, adults can say "I do" to wedding dramedy.
  • R
  • 2013
  • 110 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Sometimes, people find each other at the exact moment they need each other. Also, kindness, honesty, and patience rule when it comes to relationships.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Philip is a misanthrope, but he has a big heart. Ida is a kind-hearted individual who realizes she's unhappy but tries to deal with it with kindness.

Violence

A young man takes a swing at his father in anger over his mother's mistreatment.

Sex

A brief scene shows a wife finding her husband in the middle of a sex act with another woman. The mistress is nude from the waist down, and her behind is visible. In another scene, a woman is shown swimming naked in the sea. Couples (men and women; two men) are shown kissing.

Language

Some use of "s--t" and "damn," mostly in Danish. (The movie is in both English and Danish.)

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking (mostly wine) by adults at parties and gatherings. Some guests become very inebriated.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Love Is All You Need is a dramedy about love and marriage that mixes sadder moments with light ones. For a romcom of sorts, it takes on some heavy themes -- including mortality, death, infidelity, and sexual identity -- that are a better fit for older teens and adults. Some scenes feature partial nudity (a woman walks in on her husband in a sexually compromising position with his female colleague, and the colleague is naked from the waist down, with her rear end visible), opposite-sex and same-sex characters kiss, there's some drinking (including to drunkenness), and characters swear ("s--t," "damn," etc.) in both Danish and English.

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What's the story?

Ida (Trine Dyrholm) is trying to piece herself together after struggling with breast cancer. The chemo is done, the breast surgery over, and now she has to wait to see whether she has the all clear. She has reason to stay positive: Her daughter, Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind), is getting married in Italy, which means a vacation for Ida and her husband, Leif (Kim Bodnia). But after Ida catches Leif in a very compromising position with Tilde (Christiane Schaumburg-Müller), the young woman from accounting, she decides to attend the wedding on her own. On the way there, she literally runs into Philip (Pierce Brosnan), the very busy, still grieving father of the groom (Sebastian Jessen). It's an inauspicious way to meet -- Ida crashes her car into Philip's while upset over Leif -- but things don't stay as they seem. Will they all survive this wedding?

Is it any good?

While cliched, this movie's also rather enchanting. Wedding movies have been done so many times that it's hard to see one without having a pretty good idea of what might be coming. LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED bears a strong resemblance to its predecessors: Expect a motley crew of attendees and celebrants, all of whom come bearing their personal baggage -- which will surely get unpacked at the lovely event. Also, a relationship will fall apart in juxtaposition to the love that the bride and groom share, and people will get drunk and say and do horrible things, including throw up on someone else. Also, is there no other song on the planet relevant to love and Italy besides "That's Amore"? You get the picture.

But director Susanne Bier saves Love Is All You Need from the brink by grounding it in wonderful performances (Dyrholm, most of all, but Brosnan and Bodnia and Jessen, too, and Paprika Steen, who plays a tin-eared sister-in-law). The story also has heft because it gracefully explores the struggles of a woman recovering from cancer -- how painful and freeing it can be, and how taxing on personal relationships. It's truly lovely, and at times really quite touching. If only it were able to shrug off the wedding cliches for good.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Love Is All You Need portrays sex and relationships. Parents, talk to your teens about your own values on these subjects.

  • Weddings seem to figure prominently in many movies; what it is about them that makes them great material? How is this movie similar to, and different from, other wedding movies? Does it perpetuate any stereotypes?

  • In what ways are the characters struggling with their gender roles and identities? Are they able to resolve their questions?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love romance

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