Rating: 3 out of 5
One of the last teen comedies of the raunch era -- before 10 Things I Hate About You and its ilk tried to appeal to a younger crowd -- Book of Love (based on the book Jack in the Box) is a capable, if far from classic, reminder of our Porky's past.
Chris Young (that guy from PCU) and a whole host of now-obscure young stars (Keith Coogan was the kid in Adventures in Babysitting) make up the cast. Their story is awfully familiar: Senior year, bullies, unattainable chick, prom night. Various misadventures fill the 85 minutes before we get to the "will he lose his virginity" moment, most of them involving lightly scandalous "sexual conduct and language," as the MPAA notes. (Fair warning: Book of Love was originally released as a PG-13 movie; the new DVD cuts in more profanity and one breast shot, earning the film an R.)
It's all in good fun and the gags are amusing -- Young's James Dean affectation has him leaving a trail of hair gel on his would-be girlfriend's wall -- but never fall-down funny. Frankly, the American Pie revival of the sex comedy outdoes Book of Love by a long shot, but Boomers longing for their youth (the film is set in the '50s and features tons of period music) should find Love reasonably fun.
One of the film's oddities is that it's directed by Bob Shaye, co-founder and CEO of New Line Cinema. This is Shaye's sole feature; one of his two short films also appears on the DVD release, along with a short film that celebrates the notoriously scandal-prone man (while conveniently bypassing anything actually scandalous).
Facts and Figures
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Cast & Crew
Director: Robert Shaye
Producer: Rachel Talalay
Screenwriter: William Kotzwinkle