7.2/10
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156 user 33 critic

Like Water for Chocolate (1992)

Como agua para chocolate (original title)
R | | Drama, Romance | 28 May 1993 (USA)
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1:22 | Trailer

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When tradition prevents her from marrying the man she loves, a young woman discovers she has a unique talent for cooking.

Director:

Alfonso Arau

Writers:

Laura Esquivel (novel), Laura Esquivel (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 26 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

In a forgotten Mexico village Tita and Pedro fall in love, but their marriage is forbidden as to traditions. Mother 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 offers Pedro her sister instead of her, and he accepted it just to live near Tita- he says. Now they live in the same house, and mother 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

28 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Como Água Para Chocolate See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,665,500
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R Rated NTSC Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Pedro gave the roses to Tita for her 1st year anniversary as the ranch cook, it was colored peach. But when she started cooking it with the quail it was red. See more »

Goofs

Reflected in a window during a dolly shot as Tita leaves the table while everyone eats their cake. See more »

Quotes

Doctor John Brown: I see you didn't touch your dinner. Sue Ellen is a horrible cook, but my son and I put up with her food. Of course, *you* don't have to.
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Alternate Versions

Also, there was an European cut that is very similar to the international version because it was already color-corrected, but some scenes are extended. This European cut includes sex & nudity scenes. See more »


Soundtracks

Jesusita en Chihuahua
Written by Quirino Mendoza
'
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User Reviews

 
A Breath of Hot Oxygen: 10/10
4 August 2002 | by anyazontovaSee all my reviews

Like Water for Chocolate is a masterpiece in that it conveys the essence of our ancestors' knowledge forgotten in the fast pace of modern living.

It centers around the wonder of cooking: a sacred ritual, not a boring chore; and when done right, with love, it creates magic. Raised and taught to cook by her old Mayan nanny, Tita (exquisitely performed by Lumi Cavazos) masters the near-magical ability of transferring her love and other feelings into her creations passed into one who eats them.

The characters‘ senses are so refined, they enable everyone involved in this family drama to be tuned to the finest nuances of their world, opening the door to non-material pleasures. Rich with metaphors, their language reflects the skills of keen and sometimes humorous observation. The story brings our perception to a different level - as its characters' empathy borders on miracles and magic, and things we only sense and feel become real. Tita's virgin breasts, feeling `like dough kneaded' by strong hands, turn into mature breasts under Pedro's burning eyes (to later start lactating) - their glances, just like her food, becoming the means of communicating their forbidden love.

Yet all magic becomes wasted in the face of a man's choice. The Universe may scream into Pedro's ears about the path he is to take, but if he doesn't follow it, no magic can save him. We witness the story of a fatal attraction between two soulmates, whose passion, confined by an enslaving family tradition, lights up everyone around them... But for themselves, it's so intense, it literally engulfs the lovers in flames. Did they have an alternative? It is for the viewer to figure out.

You may ponder, however, over the young doctor's Indian grandmother saying that `each of us is born with a box of matches inside but we can't strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help. The oxygen would come from a lover's breath; the candle could be a food, a melody, a word, a caress, or a sound...' He remembers her warning, though, that `it is important to light the matches one at a time' because otherwise the heat generated would produce too dazzling a brilliance.

Thus the wisdom of the ages, just like the power, is passed here through women and the men who are in tune with them. And the intense interactions between the colorful characters of five generations extend to dead family members who continue to counsel or despise the living.

When coming into her room with Pedro after 22 years of their waiting for each other, Tita is greeted by her long deceased nanny lighting her bed and the room with multiple candles. And the consequences of one's actions carries on beyond time - as each person continues her path notwithstanding death.

Hot yellow-red colors intermixed with dense lighting rekindle one's passion for living and appreciation for the gifts and mysteries of the Mexican land. The magic realism becomes a way of living in a culture connected with its heritage.

I recommend Like Water for Chocolate to anyone who feels like he/she is lacking color and passion in life - if watched with an open mind and heart, this beautiful and enigmatic film will stir your senses and imagination and light up your box of matches!


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