When Alles is Liefde was released in cinemas, it exceeded every expectation. It attracted more visitors than any other Dutch movie had done in the past fifteen or so years, crossing the 1,3 million visitor mark with what seemed like incredible ease. It was the must see movie in a period when Dutch movies were slowly becoming more and more interesting for Dutch cinemagoers again. There was a time when Dutch movies played mostly to empty seats, but now, more and more Dutch movies reach big audiences. This seemed to culminate with Paul Verhoeven's Zwartboek (Black Book), which was the first Dutch movie in a long time to cross the 1 million visitor mark, and now Alles is Liefde. And for international readers who have never heard about this movie, here's a fact that might interest you: both of these movies star Carice van Houten.
Alles is Liefde is a romantic comedy in the style of Love Actually. Many different romantic storylines cross paths with each other, the main difference with Love Actually being that this movie plays not during Christmas, but during our Sinterklaas period, which is sort of like Christmas but different. Besides that, it's all set in Amsterdam, portraying the city more beautifully than any other movie has ever done before. If you're not into romantic stuff, you won't find much here for you. It's all strictly romcom material. The storylines aren't very original either, with young love mixing things up with older couples and their marital woes and a gay couple finding troubles of a whole different kind. Thanks to that setting though, and some inspired acting, Alles is Liefde is great fun to watch. As always, Carice van Houten is excellent, but there are also many other people doing great things here. And the movie is funny though, with several scenes making me laugh out loud, which doesn't happen in Dutch movies that often, to be honest. And everything is handled tastefully. I think it's good to see a movie with a gay couple, where we don't have to sit through them coming out of the closet or whatever cliche you can come up with, and instead their relationship being handled in the same way as the other storylines. And the storyline featuring Van Houten, where she finds her knight in shining armour (de prins op het witte paard) is just straight out of a fairy tale. Which is exactly where the filmmakers must surely find themselves with these attendance figures!