It would be difficult (especially for fans) not to find Bruce Campbell’s debut book, If Chins Could Kill charming and witty. Honestly, not even in a “I’ve seen Army of Darkness 5,474 times, Mr. Campbell” kind of way. That being said, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way has much of that same charm and wit, but it doesn’t quite pull it off as well.
Part of the problem may come from the extremely blurred line between autobiography and fiction, exacerbated by the fact that his previous book is an autobiography. Make Love… is narrated in first person, and set in the context of Bruce’s real life, but with entirely fabricated events—and, I might add, comically exaggerative.
Based on the premise that Bruce gets a meaty role in an A-list romantic comedy with Richard Gere and Renée Zellweger (directed by Mike Nichols) and proceeds to infect it with his B-movies sensibilities. It’s funny, but much of the narration is so matter-of-fact that it’s difficult to read. Which is not to say that Bruce doesn’t actually have an excellent eye for the printed word, but the difficulty in treating real people in a fictional context sort of hampers the flow of the narrative.
One highlight of the book, though, is Campbell’s graphic artist, who fills the pages with hilarious Photoshopped images, mostly of Bruce in fake facial hair and costumes. They’re well-chosen to support the text, and I think their inclusion was a good idea.
Though I wasn’t as impressed with Campbell’s fiction debut, I think he has a lot of promise as a writer. The same B-movie qualities that have made been a cult favorite seem to translate well to a text medium. All he needs is a few more books under his belt and he could have a good career as a writer.