BOOK OF LOVE: Amazon’s Attempt At The RomCom Genre Lacks The Spark To Succeed
Directed by Analeine Cal y Mayor
Stars: Sam Claflin, Verónica Echegui and Horacio Garcia Rojas
Amazon Prime put its hand into the RomCom genre, with the hope of delivering a new love story that provided laughs and smiles for viewers. Unfortunately, there’s just so much that goes wrong that this movie ends up more like our lead Henry Coppers original book, and not the successful more interesting adaptation by Echegui’s Maria.
Young, uptight and unsuccessful English writer Henry's novel sells to no one. But when his book is suddenly a surprise hit in Mexico, his publicist insists he travel there on a promotional tour. Upon arrival, a confused Henry discovers the reason behind his novel's popularity - Mexican translator Maria has rewritten his dull book as a steamy erotic novel. Henry, furious, and Maria, reluctant, must now travel together on a book tour across Mexico.
Book of Love really does start off fine, you get those charming vibes that everyone loves in a RomCom in the first fifteen minutes or so. It’s everything afterwards where it goes so so wrong. Right after the first book interview, the slope goes straight down and there’s no saving the crash we’re destined for. There’s just nothing interesting there, no one cares about Henry Coppers book nor the argument on if it was right for Maria to fix it or not. The story takes so many liberties to make the film go forward and be believable, but that just made me more upset and left me questioning how on earth their explanation made sense. Theres no hints whatsoever that these characters are falling in love, none of those little small glances or moments that could explain the love that we as the viewer is supposed to care about. When left with nothing else to say, the story overuses its punchline of Copper being a prude and his story now being an erotica- they hammer the erotic jokes into the ground until theres no laughter left for it.
The characters are uninteresting. Claflin’s Cooper is 30 year old whose only personality traits is being a prude and not understanding what social media is. Echegui’s Maria is a walking one note of being upset that her work has gotten Claflin all this fame, and being snarky with every character she interacts with. Neither actor has enough chemistry to be a believable couple, and neither really seemed to have an interest in the roles they were given. It very much felt forced for both throughout their screen time.
Theres lots of things to stream on Prime, but I don’t think Book of Love is worth adding to the watch list as there are many stronger RomCom options to choose from.