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Movie Reviews

‘Book of Love’ review: Rom-com is a torrid read and enjoyable watch

Book of Love is a saccharine sweet romantic comedy that never leaves its comfort zone. Henry Copper (Sam Claflin) is a struggling author who suddenly finds out his latest book is a massive hit in Mexico. When he goes on a book tour with his translator Maria (Veronica Echegui) he finds out the reason. Henry is initially upset, but has Maria ended up helping more than his career?

All rom-coms follow a set formula, but the most enjoyable ones are comfortable in their own skin. Book of Love knows what it wants to be from its opening moments. The plot follows the predictable path that has made similar films so popular. The only difference is the lack of involvement from the villain who is content to rely on a clandestine selfie and an appearance at the end.

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It is up to the romantic leads to ensure that Book of Love works. Claflin and Echegui have great chemistry. Wisely, the film does not try to have Maria mislead Henry for long. (His book was poorly received until she rewrote it as an erotic novel.) This changes the whole dynamic of the movie. It is not about one person trying to find love through someone else’s lies. It is also a story about acceptance.

This can be said of many rom-coms, but this is not a coming of age story or about someone realizing the error of their ways. Henry has to face harsh realities about his writing while Maria must accept she does not have to do everything alone. It is not especially deep and the problems are quickly resolved, but it is enough to make Book of Love very enjoyable. The film runs a little long towards the end, but is well paced for the vast majority.

The movie also has some genuine laughs. The biggest issue with the many in this genre is they have a tendency to lean too much into melodrama or being obnoxious. That is never the case in Book of Love. By keeping this simple, it also makes this more realistic. This makes for a funnier, relaxing and more relatable watch.

Book of Love premieres on Prime Video February 4

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