Dir: Joram Lursen
Review by Selmer Derwort
Love Is All (‘Alles is Liefde’, dir. Joram Lí¼rsen, 2007, Netherlands) is your typical romantic comedy. It is a fun, fairly light watch with quite a few elements worth noting.
The storyline of this film is so closely inspired by worldwide hit Love Actually that one could almost call it a Dutch remake. That means that we follow many stories at once, as the film brings them all together in a holiday spirit. The movie has similarly feel-good elements, and is funny enough to make anyone (except some heartless cynics out there) consider this two-hour film a time well spent.
However, where it gets to be more interesting is the cast and writers. Kim van Kooten, who made her debut as an actress a decade earlier in the absolutely amazing Little Sister, penned the script of the movie. One of the lead actresses, Carice van Houten as Kiki Jollema, has become a national star following the release of the movie. She can also be seen in more than decent Black Book (2006), while becoming known to bigger audiences as Melisandre in Game of Thrones, both much darker roles. Beyond that, this film can serve as a proper who-is-who of local celebrities, featuring many comedians, presenters and actors.
Yet another reason to watch the movie is the actual holiday backdrop. While Dutch cinema has never shied away from controversy, this is a family film that does not aim to be controversial. Yet it features maybe the most discussed holiday tradition – Sinterklaas (a figure akin to Santa Claus), who has “Black Pete” assistants. While the film abstains from taking sides in the debate, it is interesting to see on screen the innocence surrounding the whole tradition.
In short, Love Is All is recommended for you if you are looking for a fun, lighthearted movie, especially if you’re interested in the Dutch culture.
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