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Book of Love

It feels sort of mean trashing “Book of Love,” a bilingual romantic comedy that offers a clever premise but never truly delivers on it in satisfying fashion.

The film is clearly sweet and well-intentioned, but Mexican director and co-writer Analeine Cal y Mayor has trouble transcending the confines of her meager budget, which leaves “Book of Love” looking and sounding distractingly chintzy. It might have been possible to overlook such technical weaknesses if the script from Cal y Mayor andDavid Quantickwere stronger. Stock characters receive superficial characteristics: the uptight Brit, the feisty single mom, the flaky ex-husband, the flamboyantly gay book publisher. And it certainly doesn’t help that her two stars,Sam ClaflinandVerónica Echegui, haven’t got the slightest bit of chemistry with each other, despite their individual appeal.

然而,在开始时有一些承诺。Claflin扮演亨利铜,一个伦敦小说家,其最新工作,“明智的心”是这样的DUD,他只吸引三个人到他的店内阅读 - 其中一人是他的公关。这是一个没有浪漫的浪漫小说;耐心比激情更重要。不完全是一个令人愉快的海滩。但他的粗鲁和苛刻的公立专家(Lucy Punch) informs him that, surprisingly, “The Sensible Heart” is a huge hit in Mexico. And once he arrives there to bask in the adulation and drum up sales, he finds out why: The translator, Maria Rodriguez (Echegui), rewrote the whole thing in Spanish, turning it into a hot-and-heavy bodice ripper. An aspiring writer herself, she viewed it as an opportunity to practice her craft and lift herself from the doldrums of waiting tables at a neighborhood bar to support her young son.

But in the process, Maria turns Henry into an unlikely sex symbol. Claflin is very much in 1990s休泉mode here, fumbling and bumbling his way through every scenario. Henry’s halting delivery and paltry knowledge of Spanish offer some easy, fish-out-of-water laughs. This is actually an amusing idea that could have been dragged out longer: Henry’s confusion over the response to his book, and the disparity between what’s actually in it and the way women everywhere throw themselves at him. This is a guy who wears a corduroy blazer wherever he goes, regardless of the weather, and women are tossing their panties at him on stage. Cal y Mayor clues Henry in far too early, leaving him and Maria to bicker as they travel from town to town in her beat-up Volkswagen Beetle for the rest of the film.


But Echegui has a lot of spark, which manages to shine through despite the story’s shortcomings. She’s got a likable screen presence and displays some sharp comic timing here and there. And she has some nice moments withRuy Gaytanas her young son, Diego, whom she must schlep on the book tour, along with her grandfather, for all sorts of contrived reasons.

迭戈是最强的之一,gentl的关键est scenes in the film, when Henry tries to console the boy using mangled Spanish with the help of a pocket dictionary. There’s some hope in the decency on display there, as well as a wee bit of character development. But then frustratingly, “Book of Love” resorts to rom-com cliches for its big finale: a very public proclamation of love on stage in front of a packed audience, as well as a wacky brawl involving Maria’s jealous ex. You’ve read this book before—countless times.


Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series "Ebert Presents At the Movies" opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnairehere.

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Film Credits

Book of Love movie poster


Rated NR

106 minutes


Sam Claflin亨利

Verónica Echeguias Maria

Antonia Clarke作为艾莉森

Horacio García Rojas作为安东尼奥

Melissa Pinoas Helena

Galya Vidalas Francisca

Fernando Becerrilas Max Rodríguez

Ruy Gaytanas Diego

Horacio Villalobosas Pedro

Lucy Punchas Jen Spencer







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