User Reviews (22)

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  • BeavisMoon21 January 2017
    In short, I liked this movie a lot; it made me laugh and cry, though not without a few eye-rolls in between. That being said, I think it deserves more than the 5.5 rating--at least 6.5/7.

    I agree in part with both the reviews on here (the 2 star, and the 8 star) in that sure, it was cheesy at times and the writing often struck me as contrived, but the superb acting from our two leads carried the movie to heights it wouldn't have achieved otherwise.

    I'm a Sudeikis fan and as usual he delivered a solid performance. I believed and felt what his character was going through--the paralyzing, confused helplessness of loss and subsequent searching for understanding.

    Maisie Williams is awesome. I felt like even though Sudeikis got more screen time, Williams was the star here and kept me intrigued throughout. Such a great, authentic actress.

    Overall, really enjoyed the movie and would definitely recommend it.
  • paulinekale20 October 2016
    Just saw this at Heartland Film had a few good, funny scenes, but the story is so full of tropes (truth delivered from young child folk voice overs, flashbacks to a "haunting" past, and characters who talk their way through "dramatic exchanges" to realizations) that I thought I might have been watching cheap television. Rather than witnessing an unfolding drama, we were presented with scene after scene of characters stupidly stumbling into a situation where they were neatly arranged in a well- lit space in convenient blocking to "discuss their issues". The movie is excessively scored in prepackaged "Hollywood" music you'd expect from a 1999 blockbuster.

    On a positive note, Maisie Williams is a star and I believed a lot of her character. The acting was fine...Sudeikis couldn't have done much more with the part, but his earnestness in the role is cringe- worthy because the writing is so weak. Biel is fun as an unpredictable and lovable n'Orleans lady. Sudeikis' sidekicks are a source of some of the few organic laughs.

    All in all, unless you're a massive Biel/Sudeikis fan, I'd skip it. Really. Without a spoiler, the movie follows the two main characters toward a literal suicide mission, but the score is optimistic and the child's voice-over is telling you otherwise - this movie has a surreal disconnect between the story it's telling in music and voice-over and the story it's showing as the characters embark on their final journey. If Herzog had told the same story, it would be clear the characters were insane rather than "on a heartfelt journey".

    At the q&a Biel mentioned the script went through 26 rewrites. I would be very very curious to see the original script.
  • Let's be completely honest and upfront, The Book of Love is not a good movie. It's not even a movie I would recommend to people. However, it's heart is in the right place. I know the film was made for people who are going through tragedies and are looking to move on. That's fine and all, but the execution is far from where it could have been with an idea like this. The Book of Love deals with two people, Henry and Millie, both with tragic pasts and looking for something to keep them going through difficult times. They share a bond together over tragedy, and decide to band together and build a boat to deal with their loss, and possibly go on an adventure of a lifetime. What follows is a serious of mostly convoluted events with several cheesy conflicts and dialogue that more or less lead to a B-movie version of Life of Pi meets The Way Way Back? Both are modern-day classics in my opinion, and The Book of Love has nowhere near the gravitas or emotional effect those films do, but I think that was certainly the tone they were going for. The problem is, the film never earns its emotional beats. Instead, it feels more like a glorified hallmark drama, just with great actors. The only major positive is Justin Timberlake's score, and yes I said Justin Timberlake. Why in the world I decided to watch this film, I'm not entirely sure, probably because of Maisie Williams, but it's not a film I will ever revisit.

  • The Book of Love was a great feel good movie with chance encounters and picking up pieces after a tragic event. Very good serious acting role for Jason Sudiekis who is normally known for his comedy roles and SNL. This was a very touching movie worth watching for adults as well as others. The music by Justin Timberlake was certainly an added bonus. Well done...!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If I needed something to help me get over a tragic event, or wanted to help out a troubled young person, I could take a load of old planks and furniture and bits of my house and make a ladder that stretches up to the moon, and that would be justified by the nobility of the quest, right?

    And of course it could be done without anybody taking notice or raising the alarm, without the intervention of the police or other authorities and so on.

    And I could eventually climb my moon ladder with my young companion and never be seen again...

    In "Book of Love" or whatever else this film from Bill Purple calls itself, the central premise is scarcely less ludicrous than this, and it does involve a bereaved widower (played by Jason Sudeikis) and a troubled teenager (played by Maisie Williams - for whom a worthwhile vehicle was presumably needed, content not especially important).

    The wife livelier and lovelier than her husband is played by Jessica Biel, but she sadly dies before the real madness kicks in, though of course she is one of the reasons behind it.

    Ultimately, the Sudeikis-Williams pairing is reasonably persuasive, and both have a pretty good crack at a New Orleans accent, the challenge of that being all the greater for the young British actress.

    So this film has its value (and one or two clever and touching plot twists not to be revealed here in any way), but it's also a bit on the WEEEIIIIRRRRD side, to be honest.

    So the basic question remains, why maroon good actors acting reasonably well on a raft of implausibility?

    The plot actually thickens a bit further given that New Orleans was ready to fund this film, even though the portrayal of the city still evidently reeling a bit from Katrina is not too positive. Admittedly, there is an eco-message there about not developing the area's remaining marshes, and that is wise enough given the way the hurricane would have done even more harm had they not been in place.

    And perhaps New Orleans just likes keeping up its slightly eccentric, free-spirited image?

    Given there is also a surprisingly blunt recommendation to use drugs in the piece, that explanation seems to ... hold water (if you'll pardon one further pun).

    There is a bit to be got out of this film, but the why of it can't be submerged entirely, so nothing here is really ... plain sailing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Maybe I'm too cynical at times but this indie, even with its strong cast and some sweet moments along the way, just came across to me as too contrived with an ending that I thought was really ridiculous. The movie seemed to be trying too hard to make the viewer feel certain emotions but it wasn't happening for me. I will say Maisie Williams was wonderful in her portrayal of young Millie, and her dog Ahab was very cute. Also, Orlando Jones and Richard Robichaux added well to the mix in supporting roles.
  • Maisie Williams is a superb actress in everything she does,including this & Jason Sudekis does an excellent drama role. It's a wonderful movie, put together well,explaining how these 2 different people, 1 teenager& 1 adult came together through his wife & built a raft together so the girl could continue her fathers voyage. Could have done without Jason's 2 handyman, or at least the nickname for one (dumbass) & the fact that one doesn't speak any English, but other than that it kept my interest and that's a good thing 😊 It had a little bit of everything in my opinion..comedy,drama, was happy,sad,made me laugh & cry. I recommend it! Not everyone will have the same opinion. Just give it a try.
  • This film tells the story of a man who lost his pregnant wife in a car accident. He takes his late wife's incidental remark seriously, and help a local homeless girl. Together they build a raft to cross the ocean.

    The plot sounds like it is a touching film about grief and healing. However, the reality is that it is more about irrationality and insanity. I can hardly believe a successful architect would abandon his job and embark on a clearly nonsensical project. The aim of the girl's maritime journey is a tools to the viewers, but in a fragmented and ineffective way. It does not make me feel that she has to go to the ocean. I don't understand what she has to gain to make that maritime trip, except to go on a suicidal mission. The worst part of the plot is that the causality of the events does not make sense. The person who caused everything should be doing the atonement, but it is not the case in the film. Hence, I unfortunately find the film making little sense.
  • "Most stories ain't true, and usually don't start where you'd expect." Henry (Sudeikis) is a boring husband who does everything by the book every though his wife tries to change him. After a tragic accident takes her like Henry is lost and has no idea what to do. When he meets the girl (Williams) that his wife was talking about he decides to help her complete her dream, and hopefully find himself in the process. This is a very good movie that really shows how heartfelt Sudeikis can be. There are very few movies that have come out recently that show true heart and how good people can truly be. This is one of them. The movie itself is, although very predictable and generic, good and very much worth seeing. After watching weeks and weeks of depressing movies like Manchester By The Sea, Nocturnal Animals and Moonlight this one seems like a much needed break. Although this is also very sad in some parts this one seemed to have what the others didn'tÂ…hope. Overall, worth seeing and I think its only a few years away from Sudeikis really breaking out and getting an Oscar nomination. I give this a high B.
  • I stumbled across this charming little movie last night.

    Plot sin A Paragraph: Henry (Jason Sudiekis) an introverted architect. Who is grieving the death of his wife in a car accident, sets out to help Millie (Maisie Williams), a homeless teen, who has plans for an ambitious project.

    I didn't know anything about this movie, and had never heard anything about it. It was starting on TV and in the absence of anything else to watch, I gave it a go, based on the fact that I think Sudiekis can be funny in the right role, and I love Maisie Williams in Game Of Thrones, and Cyberbully (a movie I feel should be shown in every school)

    It's a wonderfully charming movie, that had me welling up. It's a well told, well acted movie that hits all the right spots and has a nice score too!! Both lead actors are heartbreaking!!

    It just goes to show that you don't need a remake, a franchise, huge budget or loads of special effects!! An interesting story with great performances are all that is needed to make a good movie.

    It's a shame the movie only got a small release with no promotion, and nobody seen it.
  • The is movie about two strangers who have been left behind by the most significant person in their lives, and about how this bonds them as they engage in a bold project to sail from New Orleans to the Azores on a homemade raft.

    Much of the wisdom is communicated by the voice-over commentary of 16 year-old Millie (Maisie Williams) who sounds like a deep south version of Christina Ricci's character in "The Opposite of Sex". The film is a little clumsy and Millie's accent is unnecessarily over-the-top but it is a good message and an overall pleasing effort.

    Most profound is Millie's ambiguous statement about people dying when nobody is looking and living while nobody is watching. By which she is expounding on both their bold but by design unobserved rafting effort and on the human condition where many lives are lived without making a ripple in the fabric of society. And perhaps a third meaning, that the cool kids are so caught up in their clique that they have defined and made a cursory dismissal of everyone, blissfully unaware that awesome things are happening all around them.

    There is a particularly interesting image early in the film, a shopping cart tipped over at the water's edge with a helium balloon trapped inside the inverted basket. Again this has lots of meanings, free spirit Penny trapped in the twisted metal of her wrecked car and unable to soar, Henry trapped by his grief, and Millie trapped by her defenses and unable to connect with anyone.

    Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
  • 'THE BOOK OF LOVE': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

    A drama starring Jason Sudeikis as a depressed architect, that's struggling to get over the sudden tragic death of his pregnant wife. He then befriends a teenage runaway girl, and he helps her build a raft to sail across the Atlantic on. It costars Jessica Biel (who also co-produced the film), Maisie Williams, Orlando Jones, Paul Reiser and Mary Steenburgen. It was directed by debut feature filmmaker Bill Purple, and the script was written by Purple and Robbie Pickering. Justin Timberlake did the score music for the movie. The film had a very limited release in theaters, and it got unanimously negative reviews from critics. I was pretty disappointed with the movie as well.

    Henry (Sudeikis) was a happily married successful architect, with a kid on the way, until his free-spirited wife Penny (Biel) dies in a sudden car crash (along with their unborn child). Henry has a horrendous time trying to get over this, until he meets a teenage runaway girl, named Millie (Williams). Millie was someone that Henry's wife had asked him to help, so he decides to help her by helping her build a raft to sail across the Atlantic on (which has always been her dream). Henry appears to go a little crazy in the process.

    The movie starts out promising, and I love Jason Sudeikis (Jessica Biel is really likable in her role in this film too). Paul Reiser, Orlando Jones and Mary Steenburgen are always reliable in supporting roles as well. The fact that Timberlake wanted to compose the music for the movie also makes it seem more promising. The first time director just wasn't up to the task though, and the film is extremely cheesy and overly sentimental as a result. All of the drama is forced, and the little bit of comedy in the film doesn't work either. It's a shame, considering all of the talent involved. I really hope Sudeikis can bounce back from this.

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    The people we hold dearest may leave us suddenly, without notice, and without having all those things we yearned to do in ways spoken and hidden within ourselves. Henry lost his wife and somehow redeemed his life through the ministrations of an orphaned young woman.

    They could each see through each other's defenses to the dreams and damage within.

    What more could they do than to set sail, on a raft of their own making, crafted from lives past on the way to endless horizons in the future.

    Do not overlook this movie! Unless you have never loved and lost anyone, in which case, skip it.
  • It's a fairly good movie staring Tim Hanks wanna be Jason Sudeikis as a man who just lost his wife (Played by Jessica Beal) in a car crash. In order to cope with the lost, he helps a young troubled teenager built a raft.

    It does feel like another one of these movies that seems to work as a test flight for Jason Sudeikis, it's about time he got this plane off the ground with more major releases. I think he's there, but I guess the rest of the world is not so sure.

    The Book of Love is definitely up his alley as it's a little weird but very charming, and though it's a fun picture, I've seen Sudeikis appear and more solid efforts like Tumbledown.

    What stands out mostly in this movie is Justin Timberlake's turn as a film composer. He's been doing this a lot lately with such movies as Trolls (as music supervisor), which makes more sense to a pop music icon like JT, but this movie showed that he was serious about the gig as the score really landed the mood of the whole film.

    Jessica Beal had a small but important part in the film that makes you want to know more about the character she's playing. I guess being the producer was good enough over needing a bigger role.

    Overall, I say that I did like the film, but Jason Sudeikis has stared in similar films that are better.
  • This was a good movie. I deeply felt the emotions the director and actors were channeling. The characters portrayed were authentic and bare and seemed like real people...much unlike the perpetually cynical professional critics who cant enjoy a movie and shouldnt be reviewing anything but tbemselves. Maisie did a great job and her accent was well done...Jason is a talented dramatic actor. I was previously unaware of this side of him since I am more familiar with his comedic roles.
  • avaboo_michonne10 August 2018
    It was totally surprising just how great this movie is. I watched and now I want the movie. Outstanding performances Jason, Maise, and Jessica.
  • I chanced upon The Book of Love while channel-switching, saw Maisie Williams, looked for the repeat and watched it. I very nearly didn't because the synopsis made it look like a Hallmark production (bereaved architect heals himself by helping troubled teenager build a raft to sail round the world) but I thought, "What the hell, it's Arya" and watched it. I'm glad I did, because although it contains a slew of "heartwarming" clichés, it plays around with them in a very quirky way, to the extent that it's almost but not quite a satire on the genre. But there's more than playing around with clichés: the relationship between the two main characters is lovely, and there are some thought-provoking moments, though it's easy to skip over them.
  • Beautiful story of grief and finding oneself by giving to another. As an unlikely friendship builds, healing and understanding allows for greater self discovery.
  • ...about a recently widowed man and an abandoned teenage girl who help each other heal their wounds. It feels poignant, and true...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OMG, you have no idea how much i hated this movie. Honestly the only reason i watched in the first place was because of a personal project (that i dropped BTW). I saw it had negative reviews, but i never expected to be this awful. Instead of going on too much details i'll give you the three main problems i have with it.

    Forced Melodrama: I get this is a film, believe me i should now, but the world building the people, psychological status, events are presented on a very convoluted and unrealistic way. You don't buy pretty much anything, there is force melodrama to create "tension" but it ends up being laughable.

    Annoying characters: Starting with the teenager (whose name i don't remember nor do i want to), who has a god awful accent, looks for materials to fulfill her stupid dream. Of course she has an alcoholic uncle, she loves her father even though he abandoned her to go for his selfish dream. The two workers are absolutely obnoxious. Thank god the wife character appears so little cause i hated her since the first scene. The only redeeming character is the Henry, with again falls for this stupid and unrealistic plot.

    Awful message: I'm not against twisted morals in movies, no really i 'm not, but this POS gives the typical message i hate in movies. So near the end of the movie when Henry recovers from his lost and understands that the teenager's dream is idiotic and continues with his life. BUT NO, risked all: a good job, nice house, and a nice life. Leave that "shallow" past to go on a fulfilling adventure. Diarrhea in celluloid indeed.

    Aside from that it looks mostly cheap, the lighting is bad, the color palette is wrong, the sets looks somewhat fake, the cinematography is just awkward. I guess Jason Sudeikis performance is decent, but gets diminish with the rest of the cast and the stupid, horrible and forced plot.

    It's good for those who like garbage massage movies.
  • Seems someone wanted to write/make a semi -serious movie about love and death - compete with To Kill A Mocking Bird type profound voice over. Just one problem, the profoundness first suggested - falls apart and gives way to foolish situations. The main character roles were more annoying than thoughtful & the whole thing leads to an even sillier ending. Some OK touches along the way get lost in superficial writing and overall, it feels like the movie makers may have been afraid of appearing 'sensitive' - so, attempted to play it in off-the-wall -mod-teenybopper mode. This approach was doomed because of the overall serious nature of the main plot. The end result; handfuls may go along with it but, very few. Minor Justin Timberlake score (the producers hubby) ads a little interest.
  • Two reasons for 2 stars instead of 1: 1. Jessica Biel appears in it (not stars in it, otherwise it would get 3-4 stars) 2. 1 star is reserved for truly stupid films.

    Oh, wait. This IS a truly stupid film, so Jessica Biel is the only reason it's got 2 stars.

    I don't want to reveal any plot lines, even though it's difficult to see how this terrible movie could be spoiled any more rankly.

    The only explanation for this monstrous work of cinematic bathos I can conjure up is that, one night, two (or more) hack script-writers got stoned with extreme prejudice and set to work on a bet that they could produce - in one night - the worst and sappiest collection of unlikely plot-lines ever devised by even semi-human minds, yet fill their to the brim with asinine emotional conceits which could tug mightily at the heart-strings of the most gullible of tear-jerk junkies.

    Part of the bet had to have been that no re-writes were to be done, and it's quite apparent that none were even contemplated. Perhaps the worst thing about the film is that the story inhabits neither reality nor fantasy, but rather a two-dimensional world fabricated entirely of artificial notions of what it would be like to be alive. Verisimilitude was literally ejected forcibly from the movie at scene 1, take 1, never to be allowed back into the studio.