Friday Review: The Book of Life

This week I’m going to review a movie rather than a book so, let’s hear it all about….BOOK OF LIFE!



Full disclosure, I have been excited about this movie since I first saw a trailer for it. I love Guillermo del Toro’s work.

So I was able to go to a screening Thursday night and let me tell you, you are in for a treat if you go see this movie. It’s a great story that really paints the culture of the day of the dead in a beautiful light.

The story is, at its heart, a classic tale of one girl with two boys, best friends, who both love her. Only this time, the stakes are much higher as two immortal creatures make a wager over which boy she will ultimately wed. Maria is spirited and spunky, and causes far too much trouble at a young age so she is sent off to a private school much to the sadness of her two best friends, and future suitors, Manolo and Joaquin.

Now the whole woman as the prize issue is the main problem I had with the movie, and while Maria comments on it a few times, she never really challenges much, and for most intents serves as a background character. She’s a decent female character but she doesn’t stand out as an example of a great female character.

Manolo, on the other hand, I really loved. He is compassionate, and sticks to that compassion even in moments when it would be far easier to fall into violence and abandon his morals, but he actually sticks to them and finds a way to make them work.

One of my favorite parts is that almost no one is all bad in the movie, even the character who is at first painted as the ultimate villain comes around and is forgiven and allowed to be redeemed. And the rivalry for the hand of Maria doesn’t destroy the friendship between the two boys which is so great to see.

The music is a lot of fun (though The Apology Song was without a doubt my favorite and if you’re an animal person you’ll probably love it too) and plays an important part to the movie because Manolo so loves his music.

The message in the movie is hammered home pretty clearly towards the end: that you can write your own story no matter what is expected of you.

While there are some parts that might be a little scary for very young children (nothing any worse than your average Disney flick), I think it will be a great movie to see with (or without) kids. I went with my roommates and we all had a blast. It’s funny, sweet, and an entertaining story that will keep you wondering what’s going to happen next.