Alfonso Arau's LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE proved a tremendous hit with American movie audiences, becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language feature ever released in the US.
Mexico, 1910. Tita (Lumi Cavazos) lives cursed by a cruel family tradition; as the youngest daughter, she is to take care of Mama Elena (Regina Torne) in her old age, and is forbidden to wed. Tita falls in love with Pedro (Marco Leonardi), and when Mama Elena refuses to let them marry, he agrees
to take older daughter Rosaura's (Yareli Arizmendi) hand, thinking he will at least be close to his true love. Forced to bake their wedding cake, Tita moistens the cake batter with her heartbroken tears. Upon eating the cake, the wedding guests are overcome with an unbearable sadness and begin
uncontrollably crying and throwing up. Thus begins Tita's special magic with food; resigned to her fate as family cook, she will impart her feelings to the dishes she prepares, with results that range from amusing to truly shocking.
An adult fairy tale, LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE has evil family members, a prince charming, numerous trials, and a happy ending--sort of. It proved an international breakthrough for Arau, a character actor and filmmaker who previously specialized in political comedies. The real auteur of the piece,
though, is novelist Laura Esquivel, a writer in the magic realist tradition, and her screenplay largely succeeds in translating the appeal of her book to the screen. Though one wonders if Arau couldn't have found more visual parallels for Esquivel's narrative, overall the film is a witty, charming
diversion that struck a chord with audiences.
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: NR
- Review: Alfonso Arau's LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE proved a tremendous hit with American movie audiences, becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language feature ever released in the US. Mexico, 1910. Tita (Lumi Cavazos) lives cursed by a cruel family tradition; as… (more)