Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Comedy, Drama
  • 2012
  • 116 mins

Love Is All You Need

Love Is All You Need


A middle-aged hairdresser (Trine Dyrholm) contends with cancer, an unfaithful husband and her daughter’s wedding in this romantic comedy from Oscar-winning Danish director Susanne Bier.


This surprisingly light-hearted offering from the writer-director team behind the Oscar-winning (and not remotely light-hearted) In A Better World bears more than a few similarities to Mamma Mia! A single Mum attends her daughter’s wedding in an exotic Mediterranean location and falls for Pierce Brosnan’s crinkly-eyed charms. As romantic comedies go, it’s about as formulaic as they come, though loftier ideas do attempt to surface from time to time.

The original Danish title, which translates as ‘The Bald Hairdresser’, perhaps gives a better idea of what the film was trying to achieve than the insipid ‘Love Is All You Need’. Questions of social class lurk in the subtext, as a humble Danish hairdresser (played with a winning blend of frailty and feistiness by Trine Dyrholm) is pitted against millionaire vegetable exporting tycoon Pierce Brosnan. She has rarely left her hometown while he is a multi-property-owning man-of-the-world, causing peripheral characters to raise eyebrows at the compatibility of their match. The threat of cancer also hangs over the film – Dyrholm’s Marianne has been left bald following a course of chemotherapy and is still waiting for the all-clear. The moment when Marianne is getting ready for her daughter’s pre-wedding party and becomes convinced she has found a lump on her neck is one of the most poignant in the film.

However, the rest of the script – and, at times, the direction too – is painfully predictable. Chance encounters that are supposed to be either comedic or romantic just come across as contrived, and many of the characters are the laziest sort of stereotype, particularly Marianne’s slob of a husband, his dolly bird girlfriend and Brosnan’s brazen sister-in-law. The cast do their best to make the cliché-ridden dialogue sound plausible, and deserve extra credit for flitting between Danish, English and sometimes Italian, but despite their efforts the majority of scenes ring hollow. At 116 minutes, the film also feels a bit overlong for a rom-com, especially from the mid-point onwards when every other shot seems to have been lifted from an upmarket travel agent’s guide to Sorrento.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Molly Blixt Egelind, Kim Bodnia, Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Paprika Steen
  • Director: Susanne Bier
  • Writer: Anders Thomas Jensen
  • Writer (Story): Susanne Bier
  • Producer: Sisse Graum Jorgensen
  • Photographer: Morten Soborg
  • Composer: Johan Soderqvist

In a nutshell

While it’s always commendable when filmmakers attempt to broach new territory, this disappointingly slight rom-com does not live up to director Susanne Bier and writer Anders Thomas Jensen’s more serious work.

by Rebecca Davies

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4


    Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster

  • Film4

    The Purge

    Ethan Hawke stars in James DeMonaco's drama about a sanctioned night where all crime is legal

  • Channel 4 Blog

    BIFA brings 2015 nominated films to cinemas

    BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed films receive 41 nominations at the BIFAs

    Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • @Feckwanker Both will be the English versions.

  • We've two more Studio Ghibli gems coming up next weekend: The Cat Returns (Sat) and Kiki's Delivery Service (Sun)!

  • @toniostonio Happy birthday! Hope the rest of the day is ace. 🎂

  • At 11am, a flying ace faces his deadliest opponent in Studio Ghibli's airborne animated adventure Porco Rosso.

  • Morning, folks! Our Sunday starts at 11am with a Studio Ghibli treat: Miyazaki's flying-ace adventure Porco Rosso.