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Better Than Chocolate [VHS]
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Lesbian romantic comedy. Flunked law student Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) now works for the highly strung Frances in her Vancouver bookshop, and thinks she has found the love of her life when she meets artist Kim (Christina Cox). All goes well between Maggie and Kim until Maggie's recently divorced mother, Lila (Wendy Crewson) - who is unaware of Maggie's sexuality - announces her intention to come and visit. While Maggie frets over choosing to 'out' herself to her mother, Lila is befriended by her transsexual friend Judy (Peter Outerbridge), and gradually comes to appreciate the truth about her daughter's social group.
Many lesbian movies are long on charm and short on production values; Better Than Chocolate has a solid dose of both and steamy sex scenes to boot. Our heroine Maggie (Karyn Dwyer), a clerk at a lesbian bookshop, meets footloose butch Kim (Christina Cox) and, after Kim's van is towed away, they move in together. Unfortunately for their romantic bliss, Maggie's mother, Lila (Wendy Crewson), and teenage brother move in that very evening thanks to Lila's impending divorce. But what really complicates matters is that Maggie can't bring herself to come out to her mother. Even when she tries, Lila steamrollers through the conversation, as if she knows what's coming and doesn't want to hear it. Interwoven with this is the struggle of Judy (Peter Outerbridge), a male-to-female transsexual who's in love with the bookshop's owner, Frances (Ann-Marie MacDonald), who's freaking out because customs officers are holding a list of books at the border that they claim are obscene. The overlapping plots are deftly juggled, the personal and political are compellingly interwoven, and, most satisfying of all, the characters have problems that aren't going to be easily resolved. A handful of candy-coloured lip-synching musical numbers give the movie some flash and the sex scenes give it some heat, but it's the elements of sorrow and ambiguity that really make the joy in Better Than Chocolate something to savour. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com
Top Customer Reviews
Personally, I found the most interesting characters to be in the support cast. For instance, the mother who is divorcing her husband becomes friends with Judy the transgender lesbian - played very well by Peter Outbridge - who is in love with the bookstore owner Frances (great character) whose books are being impounded by customs.
There are a few musical numbers at a club they frequent and this adds to it's slightly offbeat charm. It's something I would watch again. A very enjoyable film.
The chemistry between Maggie and Kim is strong from the beginning and their intimate scenes are equal parts sexy, witty and moving. The sexual awakening of Maggie's brother John is shockingly funny and the sexual re-awakening of Maggie's mother Lila is hysterical and moving.
The scene-stealer of the movie is the trans-gender Judy. She may be played by a man, but Judy is more completely female than most the lesbians (some of whom refuse to accept her as female). She is kind, compassionate, perceptive, funny, resourceful and talented, not afraid to see off a couple of neo-Nazis with a mean right-hook while sporting the results of an impromtu girly make-over. Judy effortlessly befriends Lila, confiding in her about unrequited love for Frances, Maggie's uptight boss at the '10 Per Cent' bookstore. Judy's feisty personality is expressed in the superb torch-song performed at the girls' night club; I guarantee you'll be singing the song and playing it back.
A terrific film. Witty, thoughtful, moving, sexy with well-drawn characters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The main characters are the least interesting, but everyone else makes this movie worth watching.Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
I wasn't sure about this film at first, but it really grew on me! The characters are all pretty loveable, there are a lot of good laughs, and a really impressive performance from... Read morePublished 1 month ago by nightshiftshopper
This was the first openly lesbian film I ever saw and it's still one of my all time favourites. Will never tire of the body paint scene and will never stop smiling about the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sam Hall
It is funny, and even better as far as i am concerned, it has a happy ending, win,win. Life is crap enough, so most of the time when i watch a film i want funny,or happy or weird. Read morePublished 6 months ago by DAS BOOT
Great film. Introduces us to some characters that films generally ignore or caricatures. Honestly and simply gives us a different angle on LGBT from the normal movie fare. Read morePublished 8 months ago by D J Griffiths