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Overall Rating

Awesome: 28.16%
Worth A Look35.06%
Just Average: 22.41%
Pretty Crappy: 3.45%
Sucks: 10.92%

10 reviews, 114 user ratings

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by iF Magazine

"Everything in this movie is just a bit too obvious."
3 stars

Miramax Films has hit a few speed bumps as of late and despite the good intentions of CHOCOLAT -- a fable about the therapeutic possibilities of chocolate -- it wonít necessarily make for as sweet a return to form as they would like.

The time is 1959 and a fictional French village called Lansquenet suffers from a bad case of uptight Catholic piety. They are somewhat governed by a Comte De Reynaud (Alfred Molina) who is presented as the townís patriarchal Snidley Wiplash character. His intentions are to keep everyone on the rigorous path of the straight and narrow.

Then a woman named Vianne (Juliette Binoche) comes along -- seemingly riding the northern wind -- with the intention of setting up a chocolate shop in the remote village. She is a single mother with a strong constitution, a breezy attitude and a gift for making fabulous chocolate deserts that look fashionably decadent and lure people into the shop.

Immediately Vianne and her chocolates represent evil to the Comte who wants the town to stay cloistered from temptation. Because of this, it doesnít take too long to figure out that the town will wake its spirits to the cocoa confections and that a war -- of sorts -- will be on between those who want to maintain the downtrodden traditions of the town and those who espouse the new religion of chocolate.

But, of course, since the chocolate titillates the taste buds, piques curiosity, helps flame long dead passions and awakens the town to its own repressed sins it becomes pretty obvious who will win in the end. Everyone who tastes the savory morsels rejuvenates their spirits and is seemingly transformed not unlike the movie PLEASANTVILLE where everyone changes from monochrome to technicolor.

Vivianneís Chocolate shop (called Chocolaterie Maya) becomes a bar of sorts where some of the locals come to confess as they normally would in church. Still, even though the town is ready for change the Comte isnít, so they must wait. And so must we.

Everything in CHOCOLAT is a little too obvious. The best that can be said is that the performances are all quite good. Binoche gets to play a stronger character than usual, Dame Judi Dench -- as the fussy agnostic dame of the village -- makes every scene sheís in come to life, Carrie Anne Moss plays well against type and Lena Olin does her best work in years.

Johnny Depp plays Roux an Irish river gypsy who is shunned by the town but more than welcomed by Vivianne. Heís really there to serve as the love interest for Vivianne who has a inclination for settling down for a short time and then moving on.

We are lead to believe that she may just pass through but, having seen this type of movie dozens of times, itís not difficult to realize her destiny and that of the town are on the same course.

The cinema of Lasse Hallstrom focuses on oddball characters each of whom have charms despite their quirks. He likes to showcase outsiders who find a way to fit in and become accepted. Itís too bad that the town he creates is fictional beyond belief. Itís supposed to be a French town but it behaves more like an old 19th Century town with puritanical rhetoric usually reserved for English or American towns. All this with the Chocolate shop, which feels very similar to a 1990ís version of Ghiradelli square.

The message isnít too bad though. It imagines that chocolate can (and maybe should) supplant religion as a way of bringing people together. A sentiment all the chocolate companies in the world undoubtedly share in secret. The one thing that can be said about CHOCOLAT is that if you enjoy eating chocolate then this movie will stimulate your appetite when its over. -- Matt Langdon

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4716&reviewer=119
originally posted: 02/22/01 01:29:50
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User Comments

7/19/15 Göran Dath A chocolate commercial movie 2 stars
12/29/14 Lina A thoroughly charming film. Very engaging cast. 4 stars
11/01/10 Martin Waddington A Gallic rural idyll, tempting us to buy into French real estate 4 stars
2/02/10 Tony Crane Too much of the typical sterotypes of religious people totally against any form of pleasure 2 stars
8/01/09 Samantha Pruitt Johnny Depp is totally hot! a really sweet movie! 4 stars
1/08/09 Shaun Wallner Wonderful story. 4 stars
1/01/09 mish cute - if only life's problems could really be solved by opening a chocolaterie. 4 stars
9/15/08 Sarah I watch this every Easter. It is a delighful film about tolerance and chocolate. Yum! 4 stars
9/06/08 Pamela White wonderful how one person can change many 5 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini a bit slow in places but still good 3 stars
8/18/06 Kat Sweet story, really enjoyable to watch, wonderful acting, a believeable fairytale.Love it!! 5 stars
10/31/05 missjie86 I love this film. 5 stars
10/23/04 john bale A visually pleasing modern fable with great cast and feeling for the era 4 stars
10/16/04 Jasmine_xoxo I watch this over and over. LOVE this one. 5 stars
6/24/04 Ray Good 4 stars
3/09/04 Ash Roux can melt my chocolat any day! 5 stars
3/04/04 Monster W. Kung Crap 1 stars
12/27/03 Caitlin A great romance with beautiful Johnny Depp 4 stars
8/18/03 feray yapucu żt's perfect!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/18/03 R.W. Welch Lightweight fable done by solid cast...Molina nails his role. 4 stars
5/03/03 sleepy depp was delicious! 5 stars
4/07/03 Mystique sweet 4 stars
1/22/03 Pinkline Jones A Big Chocolat-Coated Kebab - Bowel-Filling 1 stars
11/15/02 Big Ted Fun, Sassy, and Touching. 4 stars
10/01/02 hum charming 4 stars
7/21/02 2.718281828459045... Better than all the films that robbed it of Oscars. And take French 101, Flick Chick! 4 stars
7/16/02 ___ ___ 1 stars
4/19/02 Monster W. Kung Ridiculously manipulative, and the characters are all cardboard cutouts. 2 stars
4/02/02 El Talboto A chick flick, but I liked the story 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Cute. Boring. 3 stars
1/13/02 Flick Chick is dropping the e on chocolate supposed to make it more special? 3 stars
10/21/01 muddy I love it! 5 stars
10/08/01 Monday Morning And on the sixth day, when He was really tired, God made chick flicks. 3 stars
9/24/01 Embre LOVED IT! 5 stars
9/05/01 Goldhammer The message: self-restraint, to any degree, is unacceptable. This movie is plain evil. 1 stars
8/30/01 spaceworm HEADLINE: Depp makes first wrong move. 1 stars
8/28/01 Gary Smug, pretentious and interminable. Everything apart for Olin was false and sugarcoated. 1 stars
8/22/01 brentley it was ok, but didn't live up to all the hype. 4 stars
7/01/01 dan Juliette Binoche.....You can give me Chocolat anytime......I need it 5 stars
4/18/01 sara fantastic 5 stars
4/12/01 Jake What a joy this film was to watch. 5 stars
4/07/01 Poopie Garrison I loved the movie! and Johnny Depp! 5 stars
4/05/01 Mona Symbolic, colorful, easygoing, catchy, dreamy, good acting, clean humor! 4 stars
4/02/01 R-Dub Bloody good film, if you ask me... but you don't. Ah well. 4 stars
3/30/01 Vivienne X This reviewer SUCKS! Dancer took it in the ASS. Loved Chocolat. 5 stars
3/28/01 desdemona a must see movie,not ur average film where there is swearing every 2sec & shooting every 10 5 stars
3/27/01 Arielle Original, Amusing, and Uplifting 5 stars
3/27/01 wabishi Not perfect: literally preachy at the end. But a fine romantic romp. 4 stars
3/27/01 Matthew Bartley Haha Miramax fuck off you won nothing! 2 stars
3/27/01 Omer Enginertan I have never seen something more beautiful. 5 stars
3/26/01 Rumpelerna Incredible - I loved it - A MUST see !!! 5 stars
3/26/01 Dork Dangler Christian = Evil & Ignorant. Pagan=Good & Enlightened. Typical PC Crap 1 stars
3/25/01 michael jordan it sucks the sweat of the dead man's sweaty ball sack 1 stars
3/25/01 Des Delightful - simple on the surface but a lot going on 5 stars
3/25/01 B Gaul Above average film 4 stars
3/24/01 jypsygrrl Luscious Mmmmmovie..... 4 stars
3/24/01 John J One of the best I've watched so far. Tackles self-righteousness and acceptance. 5 stars
3/24/01 shelley Legalism and Judgmentalism vs. Acceptance and Tolerance - What a Great Idea!!!!! 5 stars
3/22/01 Dieto Rothfuss Refreshing, pleasant, not the usual Hollywood crap 5 stars
3/22/01 matthew smith an indulging experience 5 stars
3/22/01 Sandra Mann Loved it. 5 stars
3/22/01 judy Wonderful movie!!! 5 stars
3/22/01 cristina one of the best ones, johnny's ever played!! 5 stars
3/21/01 Stephanie M Explains the reason why I left church - tired of being measured by what evils I avoided. 5 stars
3/20/01 Jonathan Loved it. 5 stars
3/20/01 Elena VERY GOOD! FANTASTIC!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/19/01 vpitman "Pretty movie" Good actors/characters, mediocre story. Like "A Walk In the Clouds" 4 stars
3/18/01 J.Arcane Warming fairytale vibe - pretty good stuff 4 stars
3/17/01 Sylvia What a wonderful story with fabulous acting and intense character interaction. 5 stars
3/14/01 rachel loved the small french town..it was one of the best movies i've seen in a long time! 5 stars
3/13/01 Colby Droscher No one seems to be understanding that it was a comedy peice. 5 stars
3/12/01 Siannan This is a must see!! 5 stars
3/11/01 E.Carter Good movie--nothing offensive 4 stars
3/11/01 M. Adrienne Profound in a light-hearted style. great! 5 stars
3/11/01 Gray Olin and Binoche are great. Nothing else is. 2 stars
3/10/01 Caitlin I thought it was cute, original, and it made chocolate seem magical. 5 stars
3/09/01 YelloMiata@AOL.COM It really, really tried to make my wife cry. At least it made us laugh a bit. 3 stars
3/07/01 Michael Fazio No Good 1 stars
3/04/01 Holly fabulous 5 stars
3/03/01 Ina Whitmore wondeful story with strong moral overtone 5 stars
3/03/01 Suzz good but not great 4 stars
3/01/01 ObiWan This is an extremely passionate film -- superbly acted and directed 5 stars
2/28/01 Ticiana Maria Ramos de Castro Excellent ! Creative and delicious ! 4 stars
2/27/01 Liddy Ross The best film in many, many years!! 5 stars
2/26/01 Mijung Park enthusiastic favor! attractive Bien! 4 stars
2/25/01 Onyx Loved it. A beautiful film and Juliette Binoche is radiant. 5 stars
2/24/01 Chris No tone. A stealth backlash movie. Pretty coating+Vile interior=bad chocolate 1 stars
2/23/01 Tara Johnny Depp does an AMAZING job!! 5 stars
2/23/01 viking Not bad, but Babette's feast was a hundred times better 4 stars
2/22/01 Elizabeth Visser Needed more depth and more Depp 5 stars
2/22/01 eugene Carrie-Anne Moss is hot as always. Otherwise, film is a bomb. 4 stars
2/18/01 Richard B Delightful, light and sweet 4 stars
2/17/01 Robert too saccharine and predictable and absurd at time 3 stars
2/17/01 Bitcholat Johnny Depp & Alfred Molina were the highlights. But the smiling statue was fucking stupid 3 stars
2/16/01 Michael Nicholls Ohhhh...Chocalat isn't tasty, prolongs the agony of abesity! 1 stars
2/14/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi One of the better romantic films out there. Not as cliche as some would have you think. 5 stars
2/13/01 Judith Horn a awespme movie, which I would see again and recommend 5 stars
2/11/01 Duckworth Catholic-bashing from people who've never been in a church 1 stars
2/10/01 Leather jacket Life is not exactly a box of chocolates 2 stars
2/08/01 billy bob brubake this film sucks 1 stars
2/07/01 Johnny Figaro Stale, utterly unsurprising plot made of tired devices. Good cast makes it bearable. 3 stars
1/23/01 Jane Parker visually satisfying 4 stars
1/19/01 Ground Zero 2 words Johnny Depp 4 stars
1/16/01 Kirsten Sweet story. Johnny Depp is delish!! 5 stars
1/08/01 pipeman A delightful move. I absolutely loved it. Watch for a stunninly beautiful Leslie Caron. 5 stars
1/08/01 denise a sweet movie, rich with romance, strength and discovery 4 stars
1/07/01 Robert Nice relaxing 2 hours at a theater. Make sure you bring some chocolate to munch on. 4 stars
1/07/01 Thor-Leo Nice antidote to all the other overambitious, overrated movies now out 4 stars
12/29/00 tnt cute movie.......good performances...not the depth I had expected 3 stars
12/29/00 Jenny-My-Fur mm mm, break me off a piece of johnny, excellant movie, very fun and touching! 4 stars
12/27/00 Cindy W I was completely mesmerized by this movie, although it was a little too long. 5 stars
12/19/00 Heather Delicious fable of a movie, Like Water for Chocolate meets Antonias Line 5 stars
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  19-Jan-2001 (PG-13)


  14-Feb-2001 (M)

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