The 1990s Teen Comedy With Better Call Saul Star Everyone Is Forgetting

By Brian Myers | Published

book of love movie

The wave of nostalgia films that immortalized the 1950s didn’t stop with any of the Back to the Future installments or Peggy Sue Got Married. In 1990, a long-forgotten entry into the genre called Book of Love was released to movie theaters, featuring a cast of up-and-coming comedic performers who worked to bring audiences a nice slice of mid-century Americana. Joining the cast in the wrap-around story of a man reminiscing about his high school days is veteran actor Michael McKean, more than two decades before being cast as the older brother of Saul Goodman.

The Set Up

book of love movie

As Book of Love opens, middle-aged Jack Twiller (Michael McKean) opens a letter from a high school girlfriend that he had not heard from in ages. The flood of memories prompts him to open his dusty high school yearbook from his senior year, leading to an 82-minute flashback to the good old 1950s.

The Book of Love movie follows teenage Jack (Chris Young) as he and his family relocate to a new community toward the end of his high school days. A little shy and awkward, Jack’s only friend at first is a dorky outcast named Paul “Crutch” Kane (Keith Coogan). The story unfolds as Jack develops a giant crush on the popular girl, Lily (Josie Bissett), who just happens to be dating the biggest (and meanest) fellow in the high school.

Things Get More Complicated

In true coming-of-age-film fashion, Jack’s love life becomes even more complicated when he sets his sights on Gina (Tricia Leigh Fisher), the younger sister of the bully Angelo (Beau Dremann). Book of Love the movie sees Jack struggling to fit in with his new peers as he dodges the cruelty of Angelo and his cronies and tries to sort out his complicated romantic feelings. Pressure about what his post-high school life will develop into as well as his raging hormones provide plenty of opportunities for a backdrop of awkward hilarity as the film continues to fully unfold.

A Great Vibe

Book of Love takes the teenage boy antics of Porky’s, subtracts the gratuitous nudity, and splashes in the small town and suburban tunes of the time. It’s far from a complicated endeavor, but still serves as a light and fun look at one man’s perception of an era that many audiences still become nostalgic for.

The soundtrack helps with the overall vibe of the film, with cuts from Little Richard, The Diamonds, Frankie Lymon, Chuck Berry, and The Platters helping to mold each scene and cutaway. While some of the songs are out of place with the time period, each one does the film justice in getting its mood properly portrayed.

A Fun Time

Book of Love is a movie that breaks the fourth wall on several occasions, allowing teenage Jack to narrate imaginative moments to the filmgoers. The movie is ripe with cheesy tropes and plenty of sophomoric humor befitting of the age group of the characters and the era. The movie was also a great lead-in for Young as a comedic actor, one of his next film roles being the co-star of the 90s cult comedy PCU.

Find It If You Can

book of love movie


But Book of Love is a difficult film to obtain these days, as it is not available to stream or to rent VOD from any platform. If there was ever a time for a Blu-ray upgrade for a comedic period piece, Book of Love would arguably be first in line. The only physical media releases of the film were on VHS and DVD, both long since out of production and a bit costly in the second-hand market.

For those lucky enough to secure a future viewing of Book of Love, it’s a movie well worth your time. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, and maybe even tear up a bit.