There is unfortunately very little of the often superb Danish director Susanne Bier in this darkish Hollywoodish comedy. She's so much better when she stays closer to her native themes.
The plot is built on an antique and hallowed cliche: northern Europeans migrate to southern Italy to find freedom and to re-awaken love. In this case it's Philip, a workaholic widower and Ida, the relict of a boorish unfaithful husband, who make the journey. They (Pierce Brosnan and Tryne Dyrholm) carry it off rather well. But the film has an incapacitating defect: three of the supporting characters (Ida's husband Leif, Leif's mistress Thilde, and Philip's ex sister-in-law Benedikte, played by Bier's favorite actress Paprika Steen) are so broadly drawn and so melodramatically horrid that they don't belong in any comedy that asks to be taken seriously. There are a few good scenes that almost recall the director at her best: a conversation in which Philip momentarily drops his guard and reveals his unresolved grief; another in which he tries to make contact with this son while the Mediterranean waves lap at their feet; a third in which mother and daughter talk about marriage. Redeeming moments these. But for the most part Susanne Bier appears to be strait-jacketed by a plot for which she has little empathy. The psychological complexity that should have arisen from Ida's cancer and her breast surgery evaporates: an great opportunity squandered, in my view.