"The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love" Henry Miller, 1891-1980)
I must confess that when I read the title of the movie, that it was set in Italy and that it starred Pierce Brosnan, I had a vivid image of people falling in love and throwing coins in the Trevi fountain while Pierce Brosnan sang Abba songs. Also, I was rather sceptical as romantic comedies are the sort of movies that can be either really touching and heart -warming or somewhat clichéd and boring. I am more than glad to say it was the former, and there was no Trevi fountain or the musical talents of Pierce Brosnan involved.
The movie, directed by Susanne Bier, is centred on the character of Ida, played by Trine Dyrholm. Ida's character is burdened with life's many miseries; battling cancer, an undeserving husband, a son in the war and what appear to be rather terrible parking skills. However, the most uplifting thing about her character is that she always keeps it together and her incredibly sweet nature is never dampened. As corny as it may sound, I thought she was inspirational!
The story is set in Italy where Ida's daughter Astrid, played by Molly Blixt Egelind, is preparing to get married and the whole family comes together to celebrate the wedding. The setting is a beautiful Italian villa located on a lemon orchard belonging to the family of Patrick (played by Sebastian Jessen), Astrid's fiancée. Another mini love story, or a rather confusing set of events unfold around the young couple adding depth to the story line. It is quite obvious to as what the issue is from the beginning but I won't spoil the plot; it is one of those moments where you groan 'uh huh' when you realise what is about to take place.
The other main character is played by none other than Pierce Brosnan, slightly aged since the days of Mama Mia, yet still the bringing his James Bond charm proving himself worthy to play the male lead opposite sweet Ida. His character, Philip, Patrick's father, is somewhat of a grumpy business man, who has little time for life's small pleasures, and is transformed as the movie unfolds throwing little surprises (in some instances shockers) in the way of the characters.
Adding to the laughter and the storyline, there are several interesting characters such as the rather persistent and clueless Benedikte vying for Philip's love; her angry teenage daughter; Leif, Ida's 'drama queen', selfish husband and Tilde from accounts who never quite manage to stop talking. The beauty of the movie lies within the characters. They are predictable and somewhat ordinary, but it's the feeling that you know the characters from everyday life, that really connects you to the story and brings a smile to your face.