Don’t let the title fool you. The Sleeping Dictionary is the most seductive argument for foreign-language education a boy ever had and is by far one of the best romantic movies where love triumphs over the traditional hypocrisy of so-called civilized society.
Hugh Dancy is a young and idealistic colonial official posted to Britain’s deep-jungle Sarawak outpost in 1939, and Jessica Alba is the “sleeping dictionary,” a sexy tutor who proves that the fastest way to learn a language is through lovemaking. Guy Jenkin trades in old clichés for new ones in his revision of the exotic old melodramas of forbidden love between handsome colonial men and gorgeous, guileless native girls.
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