Book of Love Parent Guide
Staid novel or sexed up bodice ripper? It's all in the interpretation.
Parent Movie Review
Henry Copper (Sam Claflin) is a stolid British writer, whose first novel extols the virtues of pragmatic relationships. The Sensible Heart has seen lackluster sales, with one exception – stratospheric sales in Mexico. Overjoyed by the novel’s position atop Mexican book charts, Henry’s publisher sends him abroad for a book tour.
Arriving in Mexico, Henry meets the translator of his novel, and quickly learns the reason for his Mexican success. Maria (Verónica Echegui) hasn’t so much translated his novel as rewritten it, replacing the “boring’ bits with heated, erotic content. Mobbed by panty-throwing fans, Henry must decide whether to embrace the change (and the translator) or return to his arid existence in England…
Book of Love is an adequate romantic comedy but not a great one. It’s a difficult genre to master: the couple needs to have chemistry, there must be a believable impediment to their relationship, and the movie has to be funny. It’s a rare film that nails all three criteria. Book of Love is not one of those films.
The real challenge here is the relationship impediment. Maria’s ex, Antonio (Horacio Garcia Rojas), isn’t a terribly impressive bad guy, unless you’re a fan of 19th century melodrama. His actions are telegraphed well ahead of time and his extreme attempts to regain Maria’s affections simply feel unconvincing and a little silly. Humor is also spotty but at least some of the jokes land.
What this movie really has going for it is Maria’s passionate desire to make something of her life. Determined to be a writer, she’s willing to seize any opportunity to hone her skills and get into the field. When her chance seems lost, she is forced back into a life she sees as “looking after men” – at work and at home. Her words and her anger will resonate with tired and frustrated women everywhere.
In terms of content, Amazon has rated Book of Love at 16+ but it realistically sits at the very high end of a PG-13 rating. Sex occurs off-screen and although erotic fiction is frequently mentioned, there are no explicit quotes in the show. There is a brief glimpse of a book cover with a woman’s bare breast but no live action nudity in the film. Also of concern is the amount of alcohol consumed in the film, with characters imbibing frequently and becoming intoxicated on several occasions – one of which leads to sex.
The big question for this film is whether or not you’re going to want to watch it and the answer is “It depends”. If you’re looking for family viewing, this is a definite no, unless your family has very unusual beliefs about what constitutes suitable child entertainment. But if you’re a hard core rom-com fan, you might find a few laughs, particularly at ridiculous plot developments. If you’re a devotee of Sam Claflin, you’ll enjoy almost two hours of that self-deprecating smile and crisp British accent. This film might provide some entertainment for some viewers, but it isn’t going to be a movie with which people fall in love.Directed by Analeine Cal y Mayor. Starring Sam Claflin, Verónica Echegui, Antonia Clarke. Running time: 106 minutes. Theatrical release February 4, 2022. Updated February 3, 2022
Watch the trailer for Book of Love
Book of Love
Rating & Content Info
Why is Book of Love rated Not Rated? Book of Love is rated Not Rated by the MPAA 16+ for violence, nudity, alcohol use, sexual content, and foul language
Violence: A woman mimes shooting herself. A man threatens to kill another character, and chases and tries to hit him. A person throws a book and hits someone else in the head.
Sexual Content: A woman sends a man a video of herself in in scanty lingerie. A man sends a suggestive video message to another man. A book cover is frequently seen with a picture of a man passionately kissing a busty woman in a low cut blouse. A woman throws panties at a man. A woman reads a paragraph from a passionate romance novel without explicit detail. A man autographs a woman’s chest at her request. A woman casually mentions orgasm. A book cover shows a woman with bare breasts. A man takes a picture of himself with a sleeping woman without her consent. A man and woman kiss passionately and remove each other’s clothing: sex is implied. Nude statues are briefly seen. A woman goes into labor.
Profanity: The movie contains profanities, including a single sexual expletive, a sexual finger gesture, six terms of deity, a scatological curse, a couple of crude anatomical terms, and three minor profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink alcohol in bars and restaurants. Main characters get drunk on a couple of occasions. People frequently drink alcohol while working.
Page last updated February 3, 2022
Book of Love Parents' Guide
Henry and Maria have very different views of love. How do their life experiences share their perspectives on relationships? Do you agree with either of them?
Related home video titles:
Authors are popular subjects for romantic films. In the wistful Finding Neverland, J.M. Barrie’s friendship with the family of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her children inspires his creation of Peter Pan. In Miss Potter, Beatrix Potter’s professional relationship with a sympathetic publisher soon turns romantic. Bright Star tells the heartbreaking story of doomed poet John Keats and his love for Fanny Brawne. Becoming Jane takes a fictionalized look at the life of Jane Austen and a relationship with Tom Lefroy. Beloved children’s author and Christian apologist stars in Shadowlands, a film about his late-in-life marriage to American writer Joy Gresham.
Fictional authors also feature in film. In Stranger than Fiction, Will Ferrell plays a man who learns that he’s the character in a book. Emma Thompson is the author who determines his fate. Here Today stars Billy Crystal as an aging comedy writer whose life is blessed by a friendship with a young singer.