740. The Book of Love

Background info

Title: The Book of Love
Director: Bill Purple
Year: 2016
Run time: 1hr 46m

“In order to fulfill a promise he made to his late wife, Henry, an introverted widower, pursues an unlikely friendship with Millie, an independent but troubled teenage girl. Millie asks Henry to use his talent as an architect to help her with a mysterious goal: to build a raft that she can use to sail across the ocean and find her long lost father. Despite pressure from people in Henry’s professional and personal life to move on and reengage with his old way of living, Henry agrees to help her.  To aid them, Henry enlists the help of two of his company’s construction workers to help build the raft.  As the bond between them grows, Henry and Millie discover that their friendship is the key to overcoming their losses.  Together, this quirky and unexpected family embarks on an incredible adventure.”

Live blog

2:32 – “Oh, I threw those away.” Oops.
5:08 – He’s all crazy haphazard like me.
9:30 – That can’t be all that Jessica Biel is in this!
13:49 – Interesting gift at a funeral.
17:50 – Oof, it’s an awfully big house for just one guy.
20:05 – Kung Fu Tuesdays!
25:01 – “Thanks for the junk, punk.”
31:48 – I mean, he broke in, he stayed all day, he read the book, he burnt it down. All pretty unforgivable.
39:22 – He’s not allowed to touch the stuff, why won’t he learn?
42:53 – “Internet, brain, equals answers.”
45:27 – Millie is such a nice name.
50:45 – She told him to be bold but not necessarily to be illegal.
55:29 – Lucky Charm marshmallows in hot chocolate. Intriguing.
1:01:15 – I don’t know if I’m an idiot, but it’s a complicated back story.
1:13:42 – I don’t know much about much, but I don’t think that you pull a tree down by driving it away.
1:21:24 – I thought she hit a truck?
1:27:27 – That went south so quickly. She didn’t last long at sea.
1:37:44 – “Don’t forget to write!” From your raft in the middle of the Atlantic.

Conclusions

Very interesting and unusual film this one. At first, it felt like it was really good, and it was certainly a bit weepy towards the end. I’ve got a new-found soft spot for Jason Sudekis, so seeing him as a grieving widow tugs on the heart strings. And Maisie Williams did a great job as the rough, tough kid with an attitude problem that covers a broken heart.

But there a few niggling things about the story that just drop it down a point or two. For a start it feels like there isn’t quite the resolution you’d like. They end up drifting off to sea to what, for what, I don’t know. The accents were really dodgy in places, and there were two significant plot elements that felt contrived. Firstly, that he would spend so long in a random shed reading a random book for no apparent reason. Secondly, that Steenburgen has much of an attachment to him anyway. I get she wanted him to agree with her about the ashes, but why does she care what he does to his living room wall?

So, I don’t know. Entertaining and moving, but sort of a bit random as well.

Rating: 3/5.

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