The Reel Review

C+

Sam Claflin and Veronica Echegui star in this bilingual rom-com about a sexually uptight British romance novelist who, upon learning his dud of a book is a surprise bestseller in Mexico, is prodded by his publisher to visit for a book tour. Sparks fly when he discovers that his book translator rewrote his story as a steamy romance novel.

Veronica Echegui and Sam Claflin in Book of Love

The combination of a super cute premise and two promising super cute leads is not enough to overcome an uninspired, not so super cute screenplay (you can guess the ending even before watching) and predictable, one-dimensional supporting characters – an annoying British book publisher (Lucy Punch), a stereotpical, flamboyantly gay Mexican promoter (Horacio Villalobos), and a sexist lout of an ex-husband (Horacio Garcia Rojas). One positive, however, is the group of wildly enthusiastic superfans who appear at each of the book tour stops. They are actually pretty funny. 

Sam Claflin and Veronica Echegui in Book of Love

Echegui has loads of charm and does a nice job illustrating the challenges faced by women in male-dominated Latin American culture, but the onscreen chemistry between her and Claflin (Peaky Blinders, Adrift, Enola Holmes) never gels enough to be convincing. Rom-com fans content with a pleasantly sweet but trite story more common on the Lifetime or Hallmark networks will likely enjoy it, but for everyone else Book of Love is a very light read.

REEL FACTS

• Madrid-born Veronica Echegui is fluent in Spanish, Italian and English and starred as Elena in the Arctic sci-fi series Fortitude.

Book of Love is Sam Claflin’s first Amazon Original Movie.

Book of Love was filmed in Chiapas, Mexico.

 

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