by Martin Hafer
Romance novels are big business and have over 75 million readers in the United States alone! These folks account for well over half of all book sales throughout the States and it's a multi-billion dollar industry. However, despite this, there is, among a few, a certain disdain for 'those sorts of books' and Love Between the Covers does a lot to uncover this bias as well as legitimize and celebrate these stories. How do I know that some folks sneer at romance novels? I've heard a lot of dopey comments over the years and this film has a personal connection for me, as my wife happens to be one of the authors who is featured in this fascinating new documentary. I'm as proud as any man can be of his wife...and Laurie Kahn's film does a good job of demystifying the industry by allowing these writers and their incredibly devoted fans to share themselves and their experiences.
What I liked about this documentary the most is that it does a great job of capturing the love and devotion of the readers...as well the love and devotion of the authors*. Many of the readers go through several books a week and show a dedication that isn't seen with most other genres. Often folks have used these novels to get through the toughest times in life, as escapism and a happy ending is very attractive when life gets difficult. One of the authors, for example, talks about how her writing has helped her deal with the death of her husband. It's hard to sneer at this; the books seem to fill a real need and unite women of many, many diverse backgrounds. And, this brings me to something else interesting about the film, as Kahn makes sure to show much of the diversity within the romance field. These stories are written by and enjoyed by folks of just about every background, ethnicity and sexual orientation and romance has a way of unifying them all. This sort of unity is quite rare and impressive.
You might notice as you watch that the film is not a fancy movie. This isn't a complaint but more a statement about the its limited budget. Besides...folks who love romance novels won't mind and it's a must-see for all of them. The documentary is very well made and addresses a topic that has oddly been neglected in films. After all, with so many folks who love these stories, you'd think there'd be more films about the industry and the readers. It certainly is unique and I am not surprised that the film's done very well in a variety of film festivals. Although it's not likely you'll see it in your local theater, you can check the website to learn the various locations where the film is being shown (www.lovebetweenthecovers.com). The documentary is also being distributed on DVDs as well as through iTunes and Amazon Video and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's being marketed at the various romance conventions being held not just in the States but throughout the world.
*While not shown in the film, I went to a book signing where one reader brought her baby because she named the child after the hero in one of my wife's books. Another brought in a cart filled to the brim with books...hoping to get them autographed (which my wife painstakingly did).Share: