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Reviews & Ratings for
Like Water for Chocolate More at IMDbPro »Como agua para chocolate (original title)

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Magically romantic adult fable

Author: runamokprods from US
20 March 2011

Warm, funny, bittersweet, fable about three sisters and their horrific mother; their lives and loves in early 20th century Mexico.

The film feels epic in scope, despite only being 1:45 long. That does mean a few things get rushed, and there are moments that edge into too cute. Perhaps because the DVD (the only version I've seen) has been inexplicably trimmed from the original release.

But for the most part, this mix of romance, cooking, melodrama, gentle satire and magical realism works wonderfully well, and the constant use of food as a metaphor for sex, and for life feels original and creative.

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A Mexian Love Story

Author: katiediskin from United States
13 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film titled "Like Water for Chocolate" is an extraordinary movie centered around love, food, and traditions. In the beginning of the story, in Mexico, the main character named TIta is born. Tita's father dies of heart attack after he discovers that his second child, Gertrudis, is not his own. From the start, Tita spent most of her time in the kitchen with the cook, Nacha. When Tita falls in love with a man named Pedro, her mother forbids her to marry him. According to her family tradition, Tita's mother, Elena, informs Tita that she will never marry. Instead, Tita is told she will be forced to care for her mother until her death. Elena, cruelly offers her other daughter, Rosaura, to Pedro instead of Tita. Pedro agrees to marry Rosaura in order to be closer to Tita.

Throughout the movie, Tita and Pedro go through many struggles and obstacles that keep them apart. The emotions and feelings that come along with their conflict are enhanced with the use of food and magical realism. For instance, when Tita is forced to prepare the wedding cake for Pedro and Rosaura's wedding, she is so broken-hearted that she cries into the cake batter. The next day, when the guests eat the dessert, they all begin crying for their lost loves. This results in the entire party getting sick. Probably one of the most intense scenes of the movie happened when Tita cooked a delicious quail dinner that included the roses she had received from Pedro. After her family ate the meal, Gertrudis found herself excited sexually. This was Tita's way of showing Pedro her passion for him.

Overall, the movie included elegance, strict/proper behavior, and beauty. "Like Water for Chocolate" emphasized high emotions and captures a romantic, considerate audience. Anyone who has struggled with love could surely relate to this film. The magical realism played a large role in the film. Just enough was added to create an interesting story, but it was not too overboard. This film plays with the readers emotions, and allows the audience to develop strong feelings either for or against the characters in the story. Another key element of the film is its dramatic, romantic music. The movie provides all aspects of a romantic, passionate environment. "Like Water for Chocolate" is an incredible Mexican love story.

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Like Water for Chocolate Film Review

Author: tarbill_kyle from United States
7 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Like Water for Chocolate" is an early 20th century Mexican film based around the idea that tradition, love, passion, and the preparation of food are combine to create magical emotions with whomever consumes it. Tita, the youngest of three daughters, is left to take care of her aging mother after her father passes away of an unexpected heart attack.

Tita is now faced with the chore of being the family cook after working in the kitchen with Nacha the housekeeper. This chore is the most symbolic and serves the most meaning because Tita can now express her emotions with her cooking. Tita soon finds love but Elena, Tita's mother, forbids her marriage and suggests that Pedro marries her eldest sibling Rosaura.

The viewers first encounter with this symbolic meaning is the scene where Tita is scheduled to make the weeding feast and begins to cries into the cake batter. Once the guests eat the cake, they too begin to cry. This symbolizes Tita's loss of love for Pedro and her emotions are presented in her cooking. Since she feels empty and sad, the guests feel the same emotions.

Dim and yellow-red lighting sets the mood of the story of love and desire. Another great aspect of the movie is the traditional Spanish music being played in the background. The magical realism uses food and ingredients to symbolize love and powerful emotions. If one does not pay attention closely they will be locked into the literal meaning rather than the metaphorical.

Overall, the acting and story line of "Like Water for Chocolate" is erotic and tasteful. I only recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good love story with passion and lust. Keep in mind that when watching one must see the movie in a metaphorical aspect to actually take away what the true meaning of the story.

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Food, Love, and... Drama!

Author: brittybits from United States
6 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tita, a modest and courageous young woman, faces a horrible obstacle: she cannot marry Pedro for she must care for Mama Elena when she is old. Regardless of this, Tita finds a way to consistently show her love for him: by cooking and releasing her emotions into her food so that Pedro can feel them.

The magical realism in this film is overwhelming. The viewer can almost experience all of Tita's emotions without even realizing it. When Tita cries into the fondant, she poisons the cake with the meaning of her tears and everyone who attended the wedding is also poisoned with this as well. It is remarkable that even though Mama Elena refuses to let Tita keep the roses from Pedro, something beautiful still came from the gift: quail in rose petal sauce. This is irony at its best because the gift that was revered as ugly became something enjoyed. So powerful was this pleasure that even Gertrudis experiences this from the food.

It is magical how all other characters in the movie feel the same hardships through the artfully prepared food, so magical that even the reader begins to feel it, too. The recipes are so illustrative in activating one's taste buds that the reader experiences everything the characters have felt: the tears from the cake and the lust from the rose petal sauce. Possibly the reader should also suddenly become sick or burst into flames?

To be honest, I wasn't sure if the love Tita and Pedro had for each other was puppy love or not. Of course, it is understandable that under the pressure from marrying Rosaura and from Mama Elena, desperate measures would be taken; however, I thought they would tire of each other. It seemed that Tita would actually marry Dr. John. He was certainly a sensible man and his love for Tita was endless and passionate. On the other hand, the way the film was dominant of the theme of food and erotic love, Tita would always be Pedro's in the end.

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Love and Food

Author: davis-karif from United States
6 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a great movie that captures the culture of Mexican families, food and the burning struggle for love. Mama Elena is shown as a vicious dictator dressed in sophisticated clothing who forces a strict hand on tradition. Tita, the youngest daughter is the most rounded character the only way she truly shows her emotions is through her food. Majority of the movie is shot in dark romantic lighting with close up shots to only show the sensual effects. If the view pays close attention to the roses, when Tita receives the roses from Pedro they are pink. The close up shot shows the scratches from the thorns and when she prepares the quail in duck sauce the roses are red from absorbing her blood. This causes an aphrodisiac effect to everyone who eats the meal. Gertrudis is the only one who is truly affected by this takes a cold burning shower to cool her fiery passion and rebellious attitude. Surprisingly, the magical realism is captured by the director with rudimentary computer graphics being used. Ghosts, the burning passion, reactions to the food and the blanket she knits during nights of insomnia. The director and author worked closely in making this movie accurately on accounts in the book. Love and food blend so well in this movie. It is the driving force in making this cinematic masterpiece. Everyone can identify with forbidden love, delicious food and a burning passion to truly motivates a person to go after what they really want.

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Cooking with Love

Author: j-henry1027 from United States
1 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like Water for Chocolate is a compelling story that reveals Mexican culture at it's finest. The main ingredient in this film is food. The story revolves around different recipes and food in which the food conveys a sense of love and lust. The main character, Tita, is able to express her feelings of love and hate through her cooking.

One of Tita's most desirable and burning passions inside of her is her love for Pedro. However, Tita is unable to marry Pedro because her mother won't allow it. Considering Tita is the youngest child, her mother, Mama Elena, demands that Tita takes care of her since she is now older. It is Tita's responsibility as the youngest child to take care of her mother.

One of the most powerful and moving scenes within the film is when one evening Tita prepares a quail in rose petal sauce dish where the whole family, her mother, two sisters, and Pedro, are gathered around the table. The entire scene is shot in a sepia tone with low lighting, setting the mood. The quail that Tita once plucked depicts her release of anger from her mother's oppression of controlling her. Likewise, in Mexican culture, one must obey their mother and family. The rose petal sauce depicts her lust for Pedro. Both the color red and the rose symbolize love. The tension inside of the dining room is portrayed by the close up face shots. The camera angle shows subtle movement within each person's face, proving the desire and tension within the room.

The angles in which the film is shot, and the characters body movement allow for this film to thrive. I truly enjoyed the way that Tita is portrayed in the film. She is a young Mexican woman just trying to find herself, but is unable to do so because of Mexican culture. This film is relatable to many cultures because people everyday experience Tita's same situation; the traditions of culture that cannot be broken.

I would recommend this film because it is very relatable to today's society. Oppression and one's desire for love can be very hard. This film brings up many aspects of life that can sometimes be hard to understand, while expressing these themes with food.

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"An enchanting film"

Author: eschwiet from United States
1 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like Water for Chocolate is an enchanting film concerning the life of a young, Mexican woman struggling with a family tradition that seriously conflicts with her twenty-year love interest. She uses cooking and care-taking as a therapeutic way to manage her burning desire for Pedro and her disgust of her mother's ignorance. Based on Laura Esquivel's novel, it is hands down one of the more successful book-to-movie transitions ever made.

The heroine of the movie is Tita, the youngest of Mama Elena's three daughters. Plagued by the age-old family tradition, Tita is denied the right to marry because she must take care of her parents until they die. Tita's character is exquisitely performed by Lumi Cavazos and captures the hearts of every audience member.

The film eloquently portrays Tita's love for cooking and the strong elements of magic erupting from her loving meals. The magical realism is artistically depicted throughout the film via Tita's recipes, with one of the more famous scenes making a memorable mark when Pedro describes Tita's Quail with Rose Petal Sauce as "The nectar of the gods". Her recipe was prepared with such lust and passion, that the meal becomes an aphrodisiac for its enjoyers, creating extreme side effects that essentially propel the rest of the movies provocative happenings.

The relationship between food and emotion is extremely prevalent in this film, and Tita is a fantastic role model for young women around the world.

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An acquired taste

Author: McLaughing from United States
28 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To enjoy the movie Like Water for Chocolate, certain ingredients are needed. Note that without proper preparation, this movie seems odd, hard to swallow, and almost indigestible. Perhaps most important, is at least a teaspoon of knowledge of the culture. Know that food can succeed where words will always fail in Mexico, making the preparation of food one of the most important tasks of any social situation. This is shown throughout the movie. In one scene, Tita, the heroine, cries tears of bitterness into the batter of a wedding cake. The tears, now an ingredient, alter the emotional response of eating wedding cake. Instead of the guests losing themselves in the decadence of the cake or in the moment of what is supposed to be a happy occasion, they become sad and cry uncontrollably. The bitterness in the tears eventually leads to vomiting of all who consumed the wedding cake. The next ingredient would have to be a cup of Esquivel, the author of the novel which the movie is based on. While reading the book would enhance the flavor of the movie, understanding it's themes would also suffice. Know that Esquivel uses a lot of thyme on each step. She minces machismo with a pretty, but none too bright Pedro. Esquivel has almost too much fun peeling prudishness with Tita's sister, Rosaura. She also takes extra care trimming off any tradition, showing what she thinks of overbearing matriarchs like Mama Elena. If you do not have a grasp on these, then the movie may leave you with a funny aftertaste. Once you have blended knowledge of Mexican culture with an understanding of Esquivel's purpose, and added some popcorn and maybe a friend or two, you are ready to enjoy it! Remember to never serve with English dubbing; only Spanish can preserve the movie's experience. Though, subtitles are acceptable.

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The Essence of Mexican Tradition

Author: leightonem from United States
28 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had the misfortune of acquiring the English dubbed version of this film, so for this review I will disregard the terrible voice acting, and warn any readers; watch the Spanish version.

The film portrays turn of the century Mexican life in a traditional family living on a ranch. Being told the setting many may draw images of an uneventful, strenuous and modest story this film is anything but. Every character has depth and passion on many levels— from their flaws to their most redeeming qualities. With passion so strong this film really is like water for chocolate.

The story centers on Tita, the youngest daughter of the family. As family tradition states, it is her duty to remain celibate and care for her mother in her old age. This is especially unfortunate because she meets the love of her life, Pedro, whom proposes marriage to Tita. Her mother forbids it and Pedro marries Rosaura, Tita's older sister, as a way to stay near his true love.

Through this heartbreak Tita discovers a talent she never knew she had. Through her cooking she can evoke emotion in others. If she prepares a dish with her bittersweet tears the passion and emotion will physically manifest in anyone who eats the dish. Literally cooking the dish with love.

From the cinematography to acting the film is fantastic. It captures the essence of Mexico and Mexican life at the time. This is one of the few truly, wholly Mexican films to be distributed to a large US audience, which is very unfortunate. I'd recommend this movie to anyone with a heart, just make sure you find the Spanish version.

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A tale of love, culture, and independence

Author: john-khoa-tran
28 February 2011

Like Water for Chocolate is a sensual, tragic, and cultural joy to watch. The story follows a Mexican family that is run by a tyrannical mother. Tita, the story's protagonist, is in search of finding love; however, her mother does everything she can to stop her from meeting that goal. It isn't until Tita finally rebels against her mother that she can be free to love someone without consequence. Alfonso Arau does a wonderful at capturing Mexican culture and their food. In many scenes, one can see the labor and love that Tita put into making her meals. Furthermore, when seen in Spanish, the movie does a wonderful job showing the emotion and feelings of the characters. When Tita tells her mother that Pedro is interested in marrying her, her mother strikes her down with such force that pains the viewer to witness. However, the same cannot be said for the English dubbing; it is done awfully. The voice overs do not sound believable in the least bit. When Pedro yells "I love you!" to Tita, it sounds comical and inappropriate for the situation they're in.

Furthermore, the film is edited in a way that makes it look like an older Mexico. Colors are toned in sepia, allowing for a more ancestral look dating back to how Mexico looked in the early 1900s. In addition, a clash is seen in traditional Mexican and the need for passionate love. We see this when Rosaura and Tita clash over Pedro. Rosaura believes that Tita is no good for her lust of Pedro. Pedro also happens to be Rosaura's husband. The fight between the two shows a continuing struggle for passionate, furious love versus traditional, conservative standards that appear safe. The movie itself appears to be authentic. The characters are dressed mainly in dresses and older styled clothing that emulates older culture that Mexico once knew. Also, the setting takes place in a Mexican home that is seen without many modern luxuries. Their lives are simple but complicated at the same time.

This film is not meant for people with short attention spans. To appreciate this movie fully, one must immerse themselves into the movie and feel what the characters are feeling. This most certainly is not action packed. If you're a fan of other cultures and are interested in learning about other traditional Mexico, then this movie is for you.

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