5.7/10
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10 user 1 critic

Bitter/Sweet (2009)

| Comedy, Romance | 2009 (USA)
Brian, an American businessman, is sent to Thailand in search of local coffee plantations to purchase, but he ends up finding more than just coffee, and that the original purpose of the trip might not even be about coffee after all.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Brian Chandler
...
Calvert Jenkins
Napakpapha Nakprasitte ...
Ticha
...
Werner
Carolyn Supaluck Neemayothin ...
Mook (as Kalorin Supaluck Neemayothin)
Laura Sorenson ...
Amanda
...
Komaen
Pakkaramai Potranan ...
Mint
Viyada Umarin ...
Nee
Sompob Benjathikul ...
Pong
Tata Young ...
Tata Young
...
Stan Berg
...
American Tourist
...
Café guy
...
Ticha (voice)
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Storyline

American businessman Brian Chandler has a perfect life with a great job and beautiful fiancée. When his boss, renegade coffee mogul Calvert Jenkins sends him to Thailand to inspect a crop for purchase, Brian meets Ticha, a beautiful Bangkok executive who has long-since given up on the prospects of finding love. At the urging of her old village and her coffee farmer parents, Ticha brings Brian to the coffee fields of Southern Krabi, with the hopes that Brian will purchase coffee there. The only problem with this plan is that Brian and Ticha absolutely can not stand to be around each other. As they go from the cosmopolitan bustle of Bangkok to the pristine, white sands beaches of Krabi, their relationship becomes more than just a coffee deal. Written by Ivan Rothman

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Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Keserédes  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Charmer That's Good to the Last Drop
10 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Charming performances, lushly exotic Thai locations and a feel-good spirit accent this award-winning, thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy-drama crafted by writer-director Jeff Hare.

An engaging Kip Pardue stars as work-consumed Brian Chandler, who's drafted by coffee king Calvert Jenkins (James Brolin) to journey to Thailand to explore coffee-field pockets for a potential crop purchase. While there, he encounters the quirky locals, but most importantly he meets Ticha, the percolating female scion of a coffee family. Worldviews soon conflict, commerce clashes with the earnest art of coffee production, and the two immediately lock horns. Yet what is originally bitter can indeed turn sweet, and both Brian and Ticha take a journey of self-discovery amid this paradise spread.

"Bitter/Sweet" may appear to be a date movie--but it emerges as much more than that (though couples will certainly enjoy it together). Rather, it's a character-driven play complete with a jolting twist, a rich brew that nudges memories of three other quality films. In the vein of "Slumdog Millionaire," it delivers a sweet-and-low relationship stacked against the odds in a mesmerizing land. And just as "Sideways" is a fine-vintage voyage that toasts to wine and vineyard aficionados, so too does "Bitter/Sweet" intrinsically treat is arching theme--coffee and coffee connoisseurs--with care and respect. The film additionally shares the spirit of Bill Forsyth's 1983 winner, "Local Hero," in which an outsider arrives in an insular community, stirring up the local denizens and the regional status quo.

Director Jeff Hare continues to display his vibrant cinematic talent while adeptly tackling yet another genre. His 1999 short, "A Perfect Little Man," starring Neal McDonough, was a searing, intensely dark psychological drama about a man's ill-destined spiral into madness and violence. His 2005 dramedy, "Checking Out," was an appealing ensemble piece that featured snap-crackle-pop dialog and, in this viewer's humble opinion, one of Peter Falk's best-ever performances.

Now, with this film, Hare sets his keen eye on colliding cultures and the whims of romance--and ultimately he executes a sheer delight that brims with a whole latte love.


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