Like Water For Chocolate

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

The title, a Mexican phrase from a recipe for hot chocolate, means "ready to boil" with passion or rage. Passion, rage and food play a big part in this humorous story of a young woman's forbidden love and her rebellion against family tradition. As the youngest of three daughters, Tita cannot marry but must care for her mother the rest of her life. When young Pedro asks for Tita's hand, Mama Elena refuses, but offers her eldest daughter Rosaura instead. In charge of the wedding banquet, Tita gets a measure of revenge when the wedding cake makes everyone nauseated. Aware of Pedro's love for Tita, Mama Elena sends Pedro and Rosaura away. Tita angrily retreats to the roof dovecote. Believed to be crazy, Tita is taken by a young doctor to his home to care for her. When Mama Elena dies, Tita, Pedro and Rosaura return to the ranch, and Tita begins again using her cooking for revenge. Tita's food magic appears at her niece's wedding when the banquet sends everyone looking for a companion. Despite the need for subtitles, this amusing film entertains with its treatment of the relation between food and love.

Unfortunately, there are several disturbing moral aspects to this film. While Tita initially suppresses her sexual desires by knitting, eventually she has an adulterous affair with Pedro. When Pedro dies in bed with Tita, full frontal nudity of both of them is shown. Other suggestive scenes include fondling, implied sex and female breast nudity several times. A fire in the shed interrupts one of the sisters' shower, and naked she is carried off by a Mexican revolutionary. Tita commits suicide at Pedro's side and appears to be rewarded by joining him in an afterlife. Mama Elena's constant criticism further fuels the daughter's rebellion. While the lack of obscenity and profanity is refreshing, the graphic sex, nudity and underlying theme of rebellion against parents makes this chocolate very bitter.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., Ste. 1601, NY, NY 10017

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few mild (4)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Moderate - Several times (Mother slaps Tita (bloody nose); Mother pushed through fence; implied rape by soldiers; soldiers shooting; man burned in campfire)

Sex: Implied 3 times (once by married couple; unmarried couple in dark room, on horseback; once in bedroom with full nudity)

Nudity: Several (full front and rear female 2-3 times; breast-feeding baby 2-3 times, breasts 2-3 times; open blouse; full male front once)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (Man looks up woman's dress; seductive conduct by woman; fondling and petting unmarried couple)

Drugs: Drinking tequila; wine with meals

Other: Ghost of mother haunts Tita; suicide unites lovers

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