.

Book of Love

Chris Young, Keith Coogan, Aeryk Egan

Directed by Robert Shaye
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
February 1, 1991

What the world needs now is a lot of things, but I suspect that one of them is not another movie about growing up in the Fifties. The motivation for the film's central character, Jack Twiller (ably played by Chris Young), is getting a date for the prom and, of course, getting laid. Jack's dream girl is Lily (Josie Bissett), a blond tease attached to the beefy school thug Angelo Gabooch (Beau Dremann). So Jack spends time goofing off with his buddies Crutch (Keith Coogan) and Floyd (John Cameron Mitchell). The boys soup up a jalopy, worship James Dean movies, dance to pop tunes of the era, measure their dicks with a ruler, get drunk, wreck their parents' houses and, well, you name the cliché – it's here.

William Kotzwinkle, author of the acclaimed novelization of E.T., adapted this script from his book Jack in the Box. But the film's virtues are, at best, modest. For Kotzwinkle and Robert Shaye – the New Line studio chief who is making a sincere but inauspicious debut as a director – the Fifties strike a personal chord. Their nostalgia is underlined by a framing device showing the middle-aged Jack (Michael McKean) reflecting on his time of innocence. Jack never did get to go all the way with Lily back in 1956, but he did find an unlikely friend in tough-girl Gina (a very fine Tricia Leigh Fisher). The model for this kind of memory piece remains Barry Levinson's Diner (1982), which shook Fifties stereotypes for signs of life and present-day relevance. It's too bad Kotzwinkle and Shaye prefer to see the past as rosy instead of real. Book of Love leaves you feeling buried in bland.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Money For Nothing”

    Dire Straits | 1984

    Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com