You won’t look at lemons the same way after seeing Love Is All You Need, the new romantic comedy from Danish director Susanne Bier. The yellow citrus, after its initial mouth-puckering sourness, transitions into a satisfying sweetness, the transformation audiences will wish for the movie’s heroine Ida (Trine Dyrholm).
Ida, a hairdresser who’s just completed a course of chemotherapy and has the blonde wig to show for it, is waiting to learn about her long term chances of surviving her cancer. The one thing she won’t be in the dark about is her loutish husband Leif’s (Kim Bodnia) infidelity, whom she suddenly learns has been having it off with a feather-brained gal “from accounting.”
A bundle of nerves about her illness and, now, her marriage, Ida relies on one event to take her out of her misery in Denmark: the wedding, on the coast of Italy, of her adored daughter Astrid (Molly Blixt Egelind). On her way to the airport, she makes another awkward discovery. Ida crashes into the car of Philip (Pierce Brosnan), a fresh fruit-and-vegetable expatriate mogul who just happens to be the father of Ida’s fiance. And it turns out the idyllic site of the wedding will be none other than Philip’s childhood home, surrounded by, you guessed it, lemon groves.
Philip, a man with a soured countenance, has his own reasons for sporting a lemon-like disposition. Ida, saintly in the face of her husband’s bringing his inamorata to the wedding – every guest is a self-generating mayhem machine – seems to let the lemons, her favorite fruit, just wash their magic over her, as she sees the potential for a different life.
Love Is All You Need is a paean to the Moon and power of family, and a reminder of the false promises and betrayals families often leave in their wake. Sometimes the land – especially the lemon-bearing kind – tethers, defines and nurtures us as much as other humans.
Aastrology Film Rating: ☽ (Moon)