Book of Love

January 3rd, 2004


Book of Love

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Simon Baker at event of Book of LoveGregory Smith and Maurice Smith at event of Book of LoveAlan Brown at event of Book of LoveSimon Baker at event of Book of LoveAlan Brown at event of Book of LoveSimon Baker at event of Book of Love

Living among fusty academics, an unusual young man gets between a high school history teacher and his wife.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 5.4/10 (1,032 voted)

Director: Alan Brown

Stars: Frances O'Connor, Simon Baker, Gregory Smith

A young couple, Elaine Walker and David Walker, meet a lonely 15-year-old named Chet Becker in an ice-cream shop, and they become friends. Chet has a crush on Elaine and they have a one-night stand. Elaine tells about her infidelity to David, and their life is affected by the affair.

Frances O'Connor - Elaine Walker
Simon Baker - David Walker
Gregory Smith - Chet Becker
Bryce Dallas Howard - Heather
Joanna Adler - Melissa (as Joanna P. Adler)
Sabrina Grdevich - Lilian
Ari Graynor - Naomi
Beth MacDonald - Yoga Instructor
Brett Tabor - Coach
Van Hughes - Swimmer #1
C.J. Aker - Swimmer #2 (as CJ Aker)
EJ Scalzi - Bartender / Waiter

Taglines: When good people do bad things.


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 3 Jan 2004

Filming Locations: Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Runtime: USA: (Sundance Film Festival)

Elaine Walker: [after Chet has kissed Elaine] DAVID! No I won't... DAVID! God nothing wakes him when he's been drinking... not the telephone, earthquakes, car alarm, thunder, fire engines at 3 AM...
Chet Becker: When I was a little boy, I couldn't fall asleep unless my mom had said "goodnight" an even number of times... twice "goodnight goodnight" or four times "goodnight goodnight goodnight goodnight". Sometimes as a joke, my dad would throw an extra one in and my mom would have to say "goodnight" again to even it out.
Elaine Walker: The ice cream...

User Review

Ménage a Trois, but on whose terms?

Rating: 8/10

If three can play at love, and if that love is an equilateral triangle, then each of the three is equally responsible for the ramifications. Were that the case in this little low budget Indie film BOOK OF LOVE the story would have more resonance. But art imitates life and life is full of contradictions and double standards and that is what seems to writer/director Alan Brown seems out to show us.

David (Simon Baker) is a popular history teacher in a private girl's school in New Jersey and is blissfully married to Elaine (Frances O'Connor) who is an Events Planner and thrives on her time with her husband, wanting to delay having children for 'at least ten years' in lieu of an exciting marital sex life. Into this radiantly alive couple's life enters a young fifteen-year-old highschool student and swimmer Chet (Gregory Smith) who happens to meet them in an ice cream parlour and immediately feels a warmth for the two of them. The feeling is mutual, especially and David and Elaine learn that Chet has no strong family ties, has never even been into Manhattan much less to Disney World, a place Chet covets.

David and Elaine invite Chet into their home and lives, dining with him, taking him to a club in Manhattan (a place where Elaine takes the stage to sing with her lesbian friend entertainer), involving him in talks about Cambodian history and philosophy, etc. As an aside, their lesbian couple friends approach David to be the sperm donor for a child and Elaine and David agree to their request. David, Elaine and Chet appear to be a most happy trio until Chet makes physical advances to Elaine, advances which Elaine initially gently rebuffs but simultaneously feels awakened sensual responses to this young virginal lad. Chet finds it difficult to separate his love for the couple and his corporeal desires and ultimately Chet and Elaine have a sexual encounter.

Elaine confesses her indiscretion to David, allows him his initial pain, and then is surprised at David's forgiveness and immediate physical response to her. Chet comes to David's office, apologizes for the event, and David again surprises Chet with his forgiveness and his suggestion that the trio continue with David's promised trip for the three of them to Disney World.

While on the outing to Disney World David invites Chet into the hotel room for a drink and a demonstration of Chet's diving skills, a set up for a physical encounter on the floor. Elaine enters the room, sees the encounter as a sexual one, frightens Chet who stabs David in a scuffle, and the Disney World trip ends in disaster. It is the working out of the new twist on the triangle that furnishes the rest of the film and the final results of the trio's relationship is surprising and stretches the limits of credibility.

The problem member of this ménage a trois is Elaine, a woman who allows herself to become sexually involved with Chet, but when she believes David is likewise sexually involved with the lad she is unable to cope. It seems like the woman of the triangle determines the rules and that is where many will feel this story is more tragic.

O'Connor is a fine English/Australian actress and gives a top-flight performance. Simon Baker is another Australian (Tasmanian) actor who has a great deal of depth and strong screen presence. Gregory Smith is a young Canadian actor who shows tremendous promise. Together the three give fine ensemble acting that makes this unlikely trio credibility and engages our empathy. There is a lot of talent in this little film and for a first movie writer/director Alan Brown gives notice of a talent to watch. In time some of the side indulgences included in this film will be less intrusive and more insightfully utilized. But on the whole this is a successful film worth watching. Grady Harp, April 05


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