If you’re looking for a fun, romantic comedy to enjoy this Valentine’s Day, Amazon Studios’ Book of Love should easily fit the bill. The film stars Sam Claflin as Henry and Verónica Echegui as Maria, two very different people who soon find themselves at odds over a book.
Henry is an up-tight male author who managed to get his debut book, The Sensible Heart, published. Unfortunately, though, the book is performing poorly despite his continued attempts at promoting it; reviewers have dubbed it boring and it seems as though he’s about to be dropped by his publisher until… the book becomes a hit in Mexico. As it turns out, the book has been translated and is a top-seller in Mexico, much to Henry’s surprise. What he doesn’t know, however, is that the translator took a lot of liberties with his novel and turned it into an erotic story that was full of passion rather than a passionless love story. With the book becoming a success in Mexico, the publisher quickly throws together a book tour for Henry in Mexico, where he’s joined by his translator, Maria. What ensues is a love story that, while by the book, is still delightful and sure to keep viewers smiling.
As someone that writes books when I’m not working, it was easy to lose myself in this story. Henry can, admittedly, be very frustrating upon introduction. His book isn’t selling, but he refuses to give up on it and move on to the next thing. For him, The Sensible Heart, is his main focus because he spent years of his life trying to get it right. Trying to accept that readers simply are not interested in a passionless love story is not something he can do. He’s forced to accept the truth, though, when he realizes the only reason his book is selling well in Mexico is because of the changes the translator made. At times, it feels as though the film is picking at the romance genre as a whole, but by the end, it’s clear the film is merely trying to prove there’s nothing wrong with a bit of passion.
There’s no denying Book of Love is a cliché story. It features two unlikely individuals who find something in one another with the usual bumps along the way. It’s not a film that’s going to win awards, but not every film needs to. Sometimes, we just need something to help us escape from the reality we’re in and Book of Love does that exceptionally well. It’s a heartwarming love story that will make you laugh, make you frustrated and then keep you smiling as the ridiculousness continues to unravel. (Courtesy of Jen, Henry’s British publisher.)
Claflin nails the role of Henry; he’s awkward, arrogant and vulnerable when needed. Yet, while he is the lead, Book of Love is ultimately a showcase for Echegui who lights up the screen as Maria. The passion between them is rather great, too. They feed off each other which helps to sell this romantic story of two unlikely individuals.
In the end, Book of Love is a love story that reminds us love is never what we imagine it to be – it’s both better and worse, but always worth the fight in the end. It’s a romantic comedy you’ll want to add to your watch list this Valentine’s Day. Allow yourself to get lost in the ridiculousness of these two characters, it’s a sweet trip.