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Movie Review: “Books & Drinks” – A Heartwarming Dive into Romance and Self-Discovery

In essence, “Books and Drinks” is more than just a romantic comedy; it’s a heartfelt exploration of self-discovery and the transformative power of love. By the end of the film, David’s experiences resonate with viewers, leaving them with a sense of warmth and optimism.



Books & Drinks,” written by Josep Ciutat and directed by Geoffrey Cowper, offers viewers a delightful rom-com experience with a refreshing twist. 

Set against the backdrop of the Dominican Republic, this film follows the journey of David (played by Jackson Rathbone), the owner of a struggling bookstore, as he navigates through unexpected revelations about his late father’s past, cultural immersion, and the possibility of true love.

At the outset, David appears to have everything under control despite his failing business. However, when he learns of his father’s recent passing and the inheritance of a lavish mansion worth 2 million dollars in the Dominican Republic, his life takes an unexpected turn. Rathbone portrays David‘s journey of self-discovery with depth and authenticity, drawing viewers into his character’s emotional turmoil and eventual growth.

He meets the beautiful Maria (played by Nashla Bogaert) who is the real estate agent, who is supposed to help him sell the house. Despite both being in relationships, they find themselves drawn to each other.

The chemistry between Rathbone and Bogaert is palpable, enhancing the film’s romantic subplot and adding depth to their characters’ journeys.

As time elapses, David gradually grasps a deeper understanding of his father’s allure to the island and what drew him to settle there. The vibrant people, rich culture, and breathtaking beauty of the locale all contribute to this magnetic pull. Yet, David also comes to realize that his father held a special place in the hearts of many on the island, particularly evident in the admiration shown by individuals like the mansion’s chef, Michael (played by David Maler) and housekeeper, Laura (played by Katherine Montes).

As the film unfolds, complications arise when David’s fiance Rachel (played by Clara Lago) unexpectedly joins him in the Dominican Republic to expedite the mansion’s sale. It becomes evident that Rachel’s controlling demeanour clashes with David’s amiable and naturally charming personality, casting doubt on their compatibility. 

The emerging love triangle between DavidMaria, and Rachel intensifies as the film enters its third and final act, adding layers of complexity to their relationships and the overall narrative.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its ability to subvert romantic comedy tropes while maintaining a sense of authenticity. Rather than relying on contrived misunderstandings or melodramatic conflicts, “Books & Drinks” presents a nuanced exploration of love, family, and cultural identity. Cowper‘s direction ensures that every interaction feels genuine, allowing the characters’ relationships to evolve naturally throughout the story.

Similar to many romantic comedies, one might anticipate a dramatic falling-out between the characters as the story unfolds. However, “Books & Drinks” deviates from this familiar trope. Rather than following the typical pattern of lovers engaging in hurtful exchanges followed by eventual reconciliation, the film takes a refreshingly different approach. The film sidesteps these clichés, presenting a narrative that feels authentic and believable, devoid of contrived conflicts and resolutions.

Ciutat’s well-crafted script balances moments of humour, drama, and introspection, keeping viewers engaged from start to finish. The bilingual dialogue adds an authentic touch to the film, reflecting the cultural diversity of its setting without feeling forced or unnatural.

Visually stunning cinematography captures the beauty of the Dominican Republic, transporting viewers to a world of sun-kissed beaches and lush landscapes. The film’s aesthetic appeal serves as a fitting backdrop for the characters’ emotional journey, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

In essence, “Books & Drinks” is more than just a romantic comedy; it’s a heartfelt exploration of self-discovery and the transformative power of love. By the end of the film, David’s experiences resonate with viewers, leaving them with a sense of warmth and optimism.

I will score this film 7.5/10

In the end, “Books & Drinks” is a must-watch for fans of the genre and anyone seeking a feel-good film with substance. With its engaging storyline, charming characters, and picturesque setting, it’s a cinematic treat that will leave you smiling long after the credits roll. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


Second on my list of addictions is Movies.. the only thing I could possibly love more is my Dearest Waakye lol. Nothing else does a better job of reminding me that ANYTHING is possible with the right amount of effort. I have great eye for details and flaws in scripts. Shallow scripts bore me. I am an avid reader. Your everyday Mr Nice guy. Always the last to speak in a room full of smart people. Half Human, half Martian but full MOVIE FREAK.

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