Monday, February 17, 2003


In a Nutshell: A very sweet film (no pun intended). Nothing heavy or deep, it was a wonderfully pleasant film to sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Quick Plot: Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter Anouk move to a very rigid little French town just at the start of Lent and open a chocolate shop. Not only does the shop tempt people during a time of abstinence from all pleasures, but it's open on Sunday! The mayor does his best to shut her down, including having the priest speak out against her (indirectly of course), but one by one, the townspeople open up and welcome her.

In Detail: I really liked this movie. It reminded me in many ways of Mary Poppins (one of my favorite films of all time). Instead of a nanny who fixes up a broken household, you have a sweets shop owner who fixes up a whole town with her special treats and special touch with people. In the process, she exorcises her own demons (figuratively, of course), and reconnects with her daughter. For those of you who are interested in the film only because of Johnny Depp (or for those avoiding the film because of Johnny Depp), he isn't really in the film very much; maybe 20 minutes total, and he plays a remarkably normal person. Plenty of other recognizable folks in the film give good to great performances. I can see where some religious fanatics would be upset with the film. I can hear it now, "that movie says that you don't need church because chocolate can cure all your problems." Um, no, did you even *watch* the film? These are the same people who think the Wizard of Oz promotes witchcraft (?!). If you are one of those people, then this is not the film for you. But for everyone else, it is a wonderfully light romantic film. Do see it if you can.

Will I Buy It? I'm seriously thinking about it. I can't say "yes, definitely," but I did like it a lot, and I can see that I would watch it more than once. We'll see.

Addendum: After seeing this movie a couple more times on television, I did decide to buy it. It really is a joy to watch.