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BigdaddyDave's Review

Created Dec 19, 2011 03:27PM PST • Edited Dec 19, 2011 03:27PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. OK 2.5

    There are certain movies that have been on my must see list for some time, and Like Water for Chocolate was one of them. While the movie didn’t disappoint, it did fall short of my expectations.

    Filmed primarily in Spanish, the film chronicles the life of Tita (Lumi Cavazos), the youngest daughter of a strong-willed widow of a ranch owner during the early 20th century. It’s a rough life, and it’s complicated by the fact that family traditions dictates Tita remain single in order to take care of her mother. As the youngest child, Tita was raised by servants on the ranch, including one who taught her how to cook. As Tita got older, she feel in love with the handsome Pedro (Marco Leonardi). Unable to marry him, he marries his sister, but cannot get over his love for Tita. Meanwhile, Tita uses food as a way of exploring her emotions, and pleasing others.

    The food looks delicious, and the story makes amble use of the power it can posses, both for good and bad purposes. Had it stuck to this premise, it may have been more appealing. Instead it sinks into a weird blend of mysticism at sorts, with ghosts and visions, creating a murkiness that taints the food and romance.

    The scenery has an authentic feel to it, and the clothing captures the time period well. The use of subtitles is tolerable, although they do tend to fly by faster than some other foreign films. Otherwise, the movie failed to capture and move me as much as I had hoped.

  3. Good 3.0
  4. Male Stars Good 3.0

    Leonardi does well as the exotic and passionate man in love with a woman he cannot have. His dark hair and eyes make him more mysterious than other males in the film. However his boyish naivete creates a sense of vulnerability.

  5. Female Stars Good 3.0

    Cavazos does well in her role as the young woman who struggles to balance her family traditions, with a love she can never have. Her large eyes create a softness and vulnerability, which she portrays well.

  6. Female Costars Good 3.0

    Regina Torne does very well as Mama, creating just the right balance of fear to keep her family in line. Beautiful, yet weary from a life on a desert ranch, she brings a nice villain-type role to the film.

  7. Male Costars OK 2.5

    Mario Ivan Martinez plays Dr. Brown, a family friend who creates a nice polarity to the Pedro.

  8. OK 2.5
  9. Direction OK 2.5

    The film captures the feel of the time period well, and the director does a nice job of using food as imagery. But the odd use of supernatural happenings diminished the picture for me.

  10. Play OK 2.5
  11. Music OK 2.5
  12. Visuals Good 3.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.1
  15. Sex Erotic 2.8

    Topless scenes in a bathtub, and a scene with full nudity.

  16. Violence Fierce 1.6
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.9

    In subtitles, but there are a few F-bombs and other types of potentially offensive material.

  18. Glib 1.6
  19. Circumstantial Natural 1.0

    I’m not very keen on social structure of rural Mexican families in the early 20th century, but I suppose the hierarchy and family traditions such as these could have existed.

  20. Biological Surreal 2.2

    The supernatural imagery has to be noted here.

  21. Physical Glib 1.7


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Dec 21, 2011 7:13AM

Regarding BigdaddyDave’s Review
“The movie failed to capture and move me as much as I had hoped.” Good call on this BigD. I recall taking my wife to see it back in the day and having a similar reaction.