Like Water for Chocolate (1992)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Drama, Erotic Drama  |   Release Date - May 28, 1993 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   Countries - Mexico   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Andrea LeVasseur

Beautifully executed in the Latin storytelling tradition of magic realism, Like Water for Chocolate is a romantic drama that ultimately falls back into a Cinderella myth. Director Alfonso Arau shows the domestic chores and duties of the ranch with a commonplace realism, occasionally lapsing into fantasy sequences for the surreal events that are being cooked up. In one instance, the long-suffering Tita (Lumi Cavazos) rides away with a mile-long blanket dragging behind her, a product of her lovesick nights spent knitting. The mother is appropriately wicked, as is the sister, and Tita views her prince charming, Pedro (Mario Leonardi), as the only escape from her lifelong servitude. Like the oven-warmed kitchen where most of the action is set, the photography is warm and glowing. The connection between food and sex is well developed, in several banquets and dinners proving both memorable and humorous. Filled with characters simmering with passion and jealousy, Like Water for Chocolate lives up to its title, which refers to a method of making hot cocoa by adding chocolate to boiling water. Although heavier topics such as death, ghosts, and revolutionary war arise, the story is overall lighthearted and adheres to Hollywood romantic sensibilities.