Combustible Celluloid
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With: Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos, Regina Torné, Mario Iván Martínez, Ada Carrasco, Yareli Arizmendi, Claudette Maillé, Pilar Aranda, Farnesio de Bernal, Joaquín Garrido, Rodolfo Arias, Margarita Isabel, Sandra Arau, Andrés García Jr., Regino Herrera
Written by: Laura Esquivel, based on her novel
Directed by: Alfonso Arau
MPAA Rating: R
Language: Spanish, with English subtitles
Running Time: 105
Date: 04/16/1992

Like Water for Chocolate (1993)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Just Desserts

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Alfonso Arau (an actor best known for his bandito roles in Romancing the Stone and Three Amigos) directed this passionate, irresistible romance, warmed with dashes of magical realism. Pedro (Marco Leonardi) loves Tita (Lumi Cavazos), but Tita's mother won't let them marry, and so Pedro marries Tita's sister, just so he can stay close to his true love. When Tita hears this news, she weeps into the wedding cake ingredients, which causes all the wedding guests to weep. Indeed, this is one of the great food movies, and Arau lets his camera luxuriate over the various ingredients and finished delicacies. The title refers to the preparation of hot chocolate, and how it can be used to describe a degree of sexual arousal. It's based on a 1989 novel by Laura Esquivel, and was one of the highest-grossing foreign-language films in the United States.

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