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Love Is All You Need
  • Composed by Johan Söderqvist
  • MovieScore Media / 2013 / 43m

A romantic comedy starring Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm, Danish director Susanne Bier’s Love Is All You Need sees the two of them meet in Sorrento.  Dyrholm has cancer and just found out her husband cheated on her.  Her daughter is about to marry Brosnan’s son.  They take an instant dislike to each other.  You can guess what happens next.  If truth be told, if you superimposed Meryl Streep’s head onto Dyrholm’s body on the CD cover, you’d swear you were looking at a still from Mamma Mia – but there’s no Abba to be found here.

The score – by Swedish composer Johan Söderqvist – does open with a very familiar tune.  “Amore” is an instrumental version of Harry Warren and Jack Brooks’s song “That’s Amore”, made famous by Dean Martin sixty years ago.  It’s a charming arrangement of a lovely tune and that charm continues throughout the score.  A succession of themes is presented in the following tracks.  “The House” is a wistful piece, elegant and classy; “Philip’s Breakfast” sunnier, happier, full of joy really.  “Moving In” is an energetic rumba (is there any other kind of rumba?) with another great tune.  “The Wig” has a sadness to it, but even that quickly gives way to a brighter sound.  Later, “No Wedding” is one of my favourite pieces in the score, a touching melody led by a piano solo with accompaniment from the strings, even though the music clearly signifies that all is not well, it somehow still remains incredibly attractive.

Johan Söderqvist

Johan Söderqvist

There is so much charm here and so much joy.  This is music with the feel of a warm Mediterranean summer, the sound of the sun beating down on people walking arm-in-arm along a beach.  It often reminds me of Luis Bacalov’s Il Postino – perhaps the main theme isn’t quite so memorable here, but the tone is very similar.  It’s one of those scores that doesn’t feel all that substantial, but is simply a great pleasure to sit and listen to – there are darker moments, but its main mission is to provide joy and happiness.

Love Is All You Need is not a long score, so there is also a suite on the album from an earlier collaboration between the same director and composer, 1994’s Family Matters.  The orchestration is slightly more “standard” but otherwise it would be easy to think it was still part of the same score – there’s still the same lovely sound, the same pleasant style.  I particularly love “The Adoption”, a gorgeous fantasy on the score’s main theme.  This is a really nice album, thoroughly recommended as an extremely nice way to pass 45 minutes.  It’s nothing deep nor even perhaps particularly original, but Söderqvist executes the style very well indeed; and sometimes we all just need a little more love in our lives.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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