Have you ever watched a romantic comedy and rolled your eyes at the fact that despite the characters travelling to a country where English is not a main language, everyone in the film can somehow fluently speak English? Well, in Book of Love, this thankfully isn’t the case.
Directed by Analeine Cal y Mayor, written by Analeine Cal y Mayor and David Quantick, and starring Sam Claflin and Verónica Echegui, Book of Love is a romcom that follows the heels of Henry Copper a young, up-tight, and awkward English writer who has written a romance novel titled “The Sensible Heart”. Henry adamantly believes that love can exist without sex, and while this is true, nobody wants to read about it.
His book doesn’t sell, yet somehow, a Spanish translated version of his book “El Corazón Sensible” is a number #1 bestseller in Mexico. When Henry is sent to Mexico to plug his novel by his pushy publicist Jen (Lucy Punch), during his book tour, he discovers that his translator Maria Rodríguez, has rewritten his novel from a sensible sex-less romance into a sexy steamy erotic novel. As a result, he has started to receive suggestive photos and videos via direct message on social media from his fans.
Book of Love is hilarious, and I found myself consistently chuckling throughout the feature. The premise is clever, and the execution is believable. The romance, although a slow burn, feels real. I personally appreciated the decision for Henry and Maria not to fall in love straight away.
I also love how when Henry travels to Mexico, there is a lot of dialogue in Spanish which helps the film feel authentic. I actually wish more films, specifically romantic comedies, were a hybrid of English and a foreign language, just like Book of Love.
It also helps that no sets were created for the movie, as Book of Love is filmed on location in Mexico, which is part of its charm. You really feel like you’ve travelled to another country when viewing the film, and I genuinely adore when movies take you on a journey like this, while making the location an additional character of the story. Admittedly, Mexico has never been on my travel bucket list, and I never realised how beautiful their streets are. But after seeing Book of Love, I would be keen to visit the country someday.
Book of Love contains the perfect combination of depth and humour, and despite its fanfiction style storyline (and I guiltily love fanfiction), it still somehow feels genuine. Not to mention, this movie is a ball of fun. Take your besties, grab your girlfriends, and get some popcorn, as this film’s infectious cheekiness is sure to be a delight.
Book of Love is in Australian cinemas from March 10th.