The title should be torn up into little pieces and flung in the faces of the American marketing gurus who decided that the original, The Bald Hairdresser, would be a turn-off at the box office.
Maybe, but regurgitating a sentimental line from a Beatles song for what looks like a middle aged, middlebrow romantic comedy misses the point, which is that Susanne Bier’s film is not in Julia Roberts’ field of sexy flimsy. It stands on the edge of excellence, beautifully dressed in the style of Mama Mia, deliciously entertaining on a deeper level than a Richard Curtis feelgood, carrying the threat of truth.
Although predictable, the story has interesting sidebars and accidents waiting to happen, with sizzling chemistry between Pierce Brosnan as Philip, a hard-nosed retail greengrocer, and Trine Dyrholm as Ida, a cancer patient with a foxy dog of a husband who has run off with the girl from accounts.
They meet in an airport car park after she backs into his limo and discover that he’s the father of the bridegroom and she’s the mother of the bride in a wedding that’s taking place at his idyllic Italian villa.
However you describe the plot it sounds cheesy.
Bier won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film two years ago with a dark thriller, In A Better World. She’s not a pushover for tissue trash, having left her sweet teeth in the glass beside the bed. This is funny, serious, undiluted. It takes no prisoners in the cornfields of Western culture.
Brosnan gives an acting master class and Dyrholm is irresistible. If that is not enough, Ida’s infectious smile will undo your critical faculties, endorsing the pleasure principal as a Danish invention.