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Sukkar banat
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Reviews & Ratings for
Caramel More at IMDbPro »Sukkar banat (original title)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Simply Charming

Author: ima-13 from United States
11 February 2008

I saw this movie last weekend at the international film festival. I did not have any idea what was about, I just went to see it because it was from Lebanon. the story is very touching and real. These Lebanese women represent every middle Eastern women and their daily struggles. I recommend this movie to anybody who have an open mind to face reality and all the Taboos in Arab countries. The movie is about 5 women working in beauty salon. Each person have a secret and must face it. what struck me the most, how forgiving these women were and accepting. at no moment you feel they are judging each other , they turn their faces the other way knowing what is happening is not right but it is reality. do yourself a favor, go see this little gem of a movie

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Great film for Lebanese and foreigners alike!

Author: santosjose75 from Canada
14 September 2007

Everyone says if you are Lebanese then you must go see this.

Well I am NOT Lebanese and I am also telling you that you must go see this! A very heart warming tale and all-round solid effort by Nadine Labaki, both in front and behind the camera. You may not have heard the supporting actors before, but they are top notch and give a world-class performance.

It has a warmth and kindness to it that, try as we men may, I believe only a woman can bring to the screen.

For the women: I think the scenarios and characters are real and from the comments I've heard from other women who have seen this, you will all find something in it you can relate to.

For the men: Let me break this down for you. It's a movie that's likely going to be labeled by some a chick flick. That would be a mistake. Sure it's centred around several women and a beauty salon, but I can assure you there are no over-dramatic, or bubble-gum fluff/mushy scenes. It's just the right balance of sensitivity, comedy, and drama. A great date film that will win you points and that you may actually enjoy - I won't tell :) Did I mention Nadine Labaki is gorgeous?

A simple tale told in a sincere manner. Please go see it, you won't be sorry.

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Surprisingly Bitter Sweet

Author: ReganRebecca from Canada
24 May 2016

Nadine Labaki's debut features has a lot of the trappings of a typical rom-com but it eschews the stereotypical neat ending of the genre to become something more.

Featuring a cast of non-actors (led by Labaki who takes on a leading role) the movie revolves around a group of women working in a beauty parlour in the Christian district of Beirut. Each woman has a problem with their love life and the other women in their circle help them along.

Beautiful actors, great music and warm tones make this movie great to watch.

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Interesting story, good acting, and great script.

Author: Nicole C
16 October 2015

It is quite refreshing to watch a film set somewhere different from Hollywood films, and I think this film quite authentically represented the atmosphere of Beirut. My friend tells me that the salon where the girls work at is actually an abandoned store, but it looks pretty good. Decorations and mise-en-scene do a good job adding to the whole setting of the place.

The acting was good and I really like the chemistry between them. The four friends: Layale, Nisrine, Rima and Jamale seem like they have known each other for quite some time and their conversations with each other are comfortable. The actresses did well in conveying the friendships between their characters. Haddad as Rose did a fantastic job as well. Her energy is constantly being drained by Lili, and what really got me were her expressions and the heartbreaking scene when she cries. I almost very nearly cried myself. Semaan does a great job as Lili too, so good that I don't even know if she is actually acting.

The script does well in connecting these characters together, and their banter is appreciable. This is quite a comedic drama, and was indeed very enjoyable to watch. I must confess that Lili is by far the most comedic characters in this film, though she is also the most frustrating. The script is well written and keeps the film going smoothly and continuously.

One thing that really has me thinking is that this film is based on these women trying to find love and peace, and the way that some of them attain this is through cultural norms that suppress women. I don't want to give the ending away, but let's just say that there is not really closure, but a emphasis on friendship instead.

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a beautiful movie from the land of canaan

Author: james-mag85 from barnet, uk
31 July 2015

always love these beautiful foreign movies, Nadine Labaki has made such a beautiful piece of art showing feminine side of beautiful and romantic land of Lebanon. loved the way nadine labaki has shown different women from different religions but same culture of co- existence in Lebanon. loved the scene when traffic warden gives a visit to her beauty saloon. he looks kinda cute in that scene...while nadine labaki with her very dominating and beautiful eyes was looking so gorgeous.

I hope she will keep making such beautiful movies showing different life styles of Lebanese people.

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Great film!

Author: flickpick135 from London, England
1 October 2014

A thoroughly charming and engaging slice of life from Lebanon. This is truly a unique and wondrous foreign film, romanticizing an exotic land which is often negatively depicted. Director/actress Labaki zones in on the human side here, reminding us that such universal issues as marriage, sexuality, and relationship anxiety are relevant everywhere.

Labaki has great screen presence and crafts a tragicomic fable about female relationships. She beautifully elicits natural performances from her non-professional actors and delivers a believable and appealing portrayal herself.

This is definitely a must watch for fans of not just foreign films but of enchanting, whimsical cinematic treasures in general. Love it!!!

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Women in Lebanon have the same relationship problems that women in the U.S. have.

Author: Red-125 from Upstate New York
28 December 2013

The Lebanese move Sukkar banat is shown in the U.S. with the title Caramel. It was co-written and directed by Nadine Labaki, who also stars in the movie.

The film is set in and around a beautician's salon. (The title is derived from the fact that warm caramel is used as a beauty product in Lebanon.) The women who work in the shop, their clients, and their friends and relatives make up the cast. The plot revolves around their interactions and their romantic attachments.

The women are likable, attractive, and are supportive of each other. None of them has a stable, loving relationship. For example, one woman is at the beck-and-call of a married man. This disrupts the operation of the salon, and is clearly (to everyone but the woman herself) a dead-end street.

Lebanon is a county that is roughly half Muslim and half Christian. The nation has certainly had its share of sectarian strife. However, this movie doesn't address any of the political problems of Lebanon. It's a movie about relationships, not politics. The women in the film respect the beliefs of their co-workers, which lowers tensions for them and for us as viewers.

We saw this film on DVD, and it worked on the small screen. It's not a "must-see," but it's certainly worth finding and viewing.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A bloke's review....

Author: Tim Kidner ( from Salisbury, United Kingdom
14 April 2012

I get a distinct impression from reviews I've read that most, if not all were written by women and that 'Caramel' is generally seen as a movie for the 'girls'....

I love my World cinema and will watch almost anything, so when it came up on BBC2 recently, I recorded it on my provider's box without knowing much about it. And, yes, like the confectionery in the title, it is soft centred and a bit gooey and whilst I (obviously) didn't appreciate all the finer points of the treatments available at the salon, I could appreciate the warmth and camaraderie of the five women.

Beirut and Lebanon usually conjure up either actual or imagined images of war, conflict and heavy oppression of women. Here, director (& lead actress) Nadine Labaki serves us up a candy bar that's full of wholesome goodness, quite a lot of sweetness but more importantly, a message to the west that women there think and wish and love like every other woman, anywhere. It's just circumstances that differ and those can have huge effects on people's lives.

Whilst we generally see modern, beautiful and free-thinking women in the film, scenes that were still commonplace in the UK just 50-60 years ago, make us realise that there still are 'rules' in Arabic countries. I'm talking about sharing a double room in a hotel, which requires a marriage certificate and personal I.D. Also, at the beginning, a man and a woman just chatting in a car in the street at night is considered 'indecent' by the local police and they are asked to go indoors.

I won't go into all the ins and outs of the various relationships, as it's the overall impression I want to give and whether the film is any good. The latter is partly answered by all the 5 and 4 star reviews already up and I'd have to agree. Even for a middle aged bloke like me, I can see enough human strands and their gentle effects on the nicely different lifestyles and circumstances to keep almost anyone interested. Whether your gung-ho action flick freak will, or not, is not one I'm not going to speculate on!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Accessible, light, charming and enjoyable

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
8 February 2009

Centred around a beauty shop in Beirut, this is the story of five friends and colleagues, their lives and their relationships. Layal is stunning but seems oblivious to the attentions of a local policeman as she focuses all her efforts on a doomed relationship with a married man. Nisrine is engaged to be married but is concerned about her husband discovering she is not a virgin. Rima runs the beauty parlour and stays out of such emotional messes but finds herself drawn to a dark-haired customer. Jamale is older than these three friends and struggles to audition for acting roles against much younger and fresh women. Rose is older again and finds confusion when she experiences reciprocated feelings of love from one of her customers.

Caramel came to the UK on the back of quite a lot of nominations and discussions of it being "one of the best foreign films" of the year. Fortunately I had forgotten this until after I watched it recently and it was a good thing too because I do not think that the film really deserves such chatter. It is understandable that it got it though because the film is accessible, engaging and quite charming and generally when this occurs in a foreign film it gets it exposure and, with exposure, hyperbole. So, OK it doesn't deserve the tags it got but this is not to say that it is a bad film because it is actually a very enjoyable little piece that is as charming as it is slight. The plot will be familiar to anyone who has watching Waiting to Exhale or any other film where a group of female friends have a central place/relationship that pulls them together while the film follows each of them in a different thread. When I have seen this done it does have a tendency towards mawkishness and corn, I guess because the makers figure that this is what the target female audience want.

Caramel doesn't do this though. Yes it has emotion but it never feels forced or false and it comes over with charm and ease. It doesn't build to big weepy moments but rather has a consistently quirky appeal that I enjoyed a great deal. The stories are not heavy in detail but this helps them slide along with a nice smoothness that again compliments the feel of the film. The cast do well because they all deliver solid characters without ever tipping into easy melodrama or pushing it too hard. Labaki has the character that would be most likely to go this way but she holds it back and instead delivers a sympathetic and engaging lead. It helps that she is stunning as well. Equally stunning is Elmasri and she gives a bit more Iin the way of comedy in her role. Moukarzel has a "difficult" character when you think about it but she does well with a tomboyish charm and makes the most of her few scenes with her customer. Aouad doesn't have the looks to rely on like the others but her harsh character gives way to moments where her real feelings come through and it is easy to feel for her. Haddad isn't given much time to work with but she is good and her thread makes for a sweet ending to the sweet film.

Like the title suggests, this is a very charming and sweet film that avoids melodrama or "big" emotional moments in favour of a lighter tone that makes it much more accessible and enjoyable.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not bad but I was expecting more...

Author: sebkom
7 February 2009

I watched this movie today and I can say I am a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, the movie wasn't bad in general, but I was expecting more. It's the hype, again...

Coming from Greece, I can say that I found the situation described in the movie pretty familiar and that's another excuse for my low vote (7/10).

It's like an hour since I saw the movie and if you I had to say three things about the movie I'd say "Habibi" (the Arabic word for "love", I think), "Lili" and "Oh my, Nadine's eyes are so stunning".

All in all, it's a good way to spent some time.

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