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Like Water for Chocolate (1992)

Como agua para chocolate (original title)
R | | Drama, Romance | 28 May 1993 (USA)
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In a forgotten Mexico Tita and Pedro fall in love, but are forbidden to marry. Mama Elena sees Tita's role as her caretaker for life - no youngest daughter has ever married and her daughter... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 25 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Regina Torné ...
Mamá Elena
Mario Iván Martínez ...
Doctor John Brown
Ada Carrasco ...
Nacha
...
Rosaura
Claudette Maillé ...
Gertrudis
Pilar Aranda ...
Chencha
Farnesio de Bernal ...
Cura
...
Sargento Treviño
Rodolfo Arias ...
Juan Alejándrez
Margarita Isabel ...
Paquita Lobo
Sandra Arau ...
Esperanza Muzquiz
Andrés García Jr. ...
Alex Brown
Regino Herrera ...
Nicolás
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Storyline

In a forgotten Mexico Tita and Pedro fall in love, but are forbidden to marry. Mama Elena sees Tita's role as her caretaker for life - no youngest daughter has ever married and her daughter will not be the first to break tradition. Tita's heart breaks when her mother instead offers to Pedro her other daughter, and he accepts. Now they live in the same house, and Mama Elena cannot forbid their love as she did their marriage. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A feast for the senses!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 May 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Como Água Para Chocolate  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$21,665,500 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R Rated NTSC Version)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An aspiring filmmaker from Texas, who was not involved with the project, spent time on set, because he was in town shooting a small budget ($5,000) full-length feature film for the Spanish home video market. That young filmmaker was Robert Rodriguez, and the film was El Mariachi, which became a hit at Sundance and launced his career. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Brown holds up a piece of white phosphorus, nothing happens. White phosphorus ignites in air at room temperature, however, so it should have been shown burning. See more »

Quotes

Doctor John Brown: My aunt is as deaf as a post.
Tita: Then how can she carry on conversations?
Doctor John Brown: She reads lips, but when she is eating, she is too preoccupied to notice anything else. Watch.
[shouts]
Doctor John Brown: Tia Mary, I'm marrying Tita because the poor girl is crazy.
[Tia Mary continues eating.]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Ojos de Juventud
Written by Richard Tolentino
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User Reviews

 
Rich and satisfying
28 May 2000 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

Years ago, in California, I walked into a gas station convenience store to buy some consumable or other. The man who took my money was a Mexican emigre, and he saw that I was carrying a copy of the book Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. He asked how I liked it, and I told him I was loving it. He told me not to miss the movie.

"Oh," I answered, "but I always worry that the movie will never be as good as the book."

"It doesn't matter," he told me. "This is a very great film. And it is the first real Mexican film I have ever seen shown in this country. You know, to everybody, not just the Mexican community."

I smiled and told him I would check it out, but honestly, I had no idea what he was talking about. After all, I knew who Dolores Del Rio and Cantinflas were, and the movies with them that I had seen were shown in L.A., to everybody.

But now, at last, I have seen this movie, and now, at last, I know what this guy was talking about. Like, wow! This really is a real Mexican film! Art! Cinema! More than just a bit of popular fluff!

Tender, compassionate and very witty, like the book on which it is based, this movie celebrates Mexican culture -- not just on the food, the preparation of which forms the premise of the story, but as kind of a rollicking take on the history of the young country at the turn of the century. It celebrates the music, the style of life on a ranch, the strength of the extended family, the beauty of the land, and the ethnic mixing pot that is every Mexican.

There is so much reckless joy and passionate love in this film, even when it portrays pain. It openly depicts female eroticism. (Plus, for a big change from US cinema, we get to see beautiful men and women of many shapes, sizes and colors all on the same screen.) The acting is flawless, and the star, Lumi Cavazos, is absolutely charming, full of life and credibility.

The only flaws I found in this film were minor and had to do with timing. For example, the final ascent to the climax seems to have been shortchanged a little bit. I would have liked to reach through this scene a little more slowly.

To judge Mexican cinema by the type of films I had seen before this one would be like judging U.S. cinema on the basis of Jerry Lewis or some cheesy melodramas from the '40s and '50s, but not taking into account any of our real film art. I'd love to know what else I've missed. Can't wait to find out.


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