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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE is a must see movie in my opinion. It centers around Maggie, and her family and friends. Maggie is a lesbian living away from home, and her mom and brother. One night after almost being attacked, she encounters Kim. A few days later she runs into Kim again and they fall for each other. It was very sudden how they got together, within a few weeks...
Published on February 1, 2003 by J. M. Zuurbier

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174 of 186 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Screwball romance meets '90's lesbian chic
This movie will seem very familiar to most long-time movie watchers as it is in many ways a remake of the vintage screwball comedies of the early '30's but with a decidedly '90's twist.
The heroine of the film is Maggie, a young woman who has dropped out of university to try and find herself as an artist. She also supplements her income from painting by working at...
Published on December 27, 1999 by Tcaalaw


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174 of 186 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Screwball romance meets '90's lesbian chic, December 27, 1999
By 
This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
This movie will seem very familiar to most long-time movie watchers as it is in many ways a remake of the vintage screwball comedies of the early '30's but with a decidedly '90's twist.
The heroine of the film is Maggie, a young woman who has dropped out of university to try and find herself as an artist. She also supplements her income from painting by working at a bookstore which serves the LesBiGayT (Lesbian-Bisexual-Gay-Transsexual) community of a small British Columbian town.
Maggie's life is greatly complicated when, on the same day, she begins to fall in love with an itinerant painter named Kim, and she receives word that her mother and teenage brother are going to be coming to town to stay with her. This is particularly problematic because Maggie hasn't disclosed her sexual orientation to her family.
A certain amount of predictable hijinks ensue as Maggie tries to keep her family from deducing the truth about her relationship with Kim. She also, of course, must keep them from figuring out that anything is "out-of-place" about her friends and co-workers. As well, there are several sub-plots introduced to give the film more political relevancy, including Canada's strict censorship laws and the subject of anti-transsexual discrimination in the LesBiGayT community, however they are not especially well developed.
In conclusion, this film is very funny at some points, but moves very predictably at others. It is a rather light-hearted take on lesbian romance and coming-out issues, but the sub-plots occasionally weigh it down. Since most of the sub-plots contained enough potential to be films of their own, the film-makers could have dropped some of them from this picture to spend more time exploring Maggie and Kim's relationship. That said, I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys romantic comedies and has an open mind.
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91 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Surprises Here..., August 15, 2003
By 
This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
There's no shortage of mediocre gay/lesbian movies out these days, in which we follow the trials and tribulations of a group of friends (gay, lesbian, maybe an occasional trans) as they fall in and out of love and do a lot of dancing. "Better than Chocolate" is another one of those movies and it's okay for what it is, but I can't help wishing these movies would aim just a little bit higher.
As with most films in this genre, there's the central love story, here a sort of instant-fall-in-love scenario between two women, both of whom are essentially nice, attractive, etc. The "character flaw" of one is that she lives on the road and always leaves when the going gets tough; the other one's "flaw" is that she hasn't told her mother that she's gay, yet, and hasn't really committed to her identity as a lesbian. So, they fall in love, the mother comes to stay with her daughter, hijinks ensue. There are a few subplots tossed in, the most interesting of which centers around the one transgender character who is hoping (in vain) that her parents have finally accepted her.
The good things about this movie? Well, for one thing, there are a couple of truly erotic scenes between the two main characters, and well done erotica is a rarity in ANY genre of film. Also, there are a couple of song/dance routines that are performed by the main characters that are truly nifty. As a matter of fact, I wish they'd done more of that and less of the soap-opera-y stuff.
Perhaps the biggest flaw in the film is just how predictable it all is. You know who's going to end up together, you know that the mother will eventually find out the truth and, after a bit of shell-shock, will accept her daughter as a lesbian, etc. There are no surprises. And the political subtext (censorship is bad, violent skin-heads are bad, prejudice is bad, etc.) never risks challenging its viewers; it's pretty much a given that anyone who's going to see this movie is going to agree with all the opinions expressed within it.
So, if you're in the mood for yet another gay/lesbian comedy/drama, you could do worse than this one. But don't go into this expecting anything profound or brilliant... "Better than Chocolate" never challenges or surprises, it only re-affirms what's already been said in other, similar movies.
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, February 1, 2003
This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE is a must see movie in my opinion. It centers around Maggie, and her family and friends. Maggie is a lesbian living away from home, and her mom and brother. One night after almost being attacked, she encounters Kim. A few days later she runs into Kim again and they fall for each other. It was very sudden how they got together, within a few weeks saying that they were in love. Maggie's mother Lily and her brother come and live with Maggie, which creates a problem for her. Maggie is not out to her mother and wants to live her life and still maintain to keep her sexuality a secret. She works in a bookstore with Francis and Carla, and their transgendered friend Judy is often around. The story is enriched because it involves many stories which fold together. Lily redefining herself and discovering herself again, Judy finding love with long time crush Frances, Maggie's brother beginning a relationship with Carla, and more. One of the subplots centers around censorship, which was a well used plot in the movie. There is some great scenes, such as the erotic scene with body painting, and Maggie making a statement against censorship by posing nude in the bookstore. Overall a well acted movie, perhaps a bit convinient, but overall entertaining in the end.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun movie.., May 30, 2002
By 
gp64 "idgie240" (Woodville West, South Australia Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
This is a movie you can watch over and over!!I love it, at last a fun lesbian film with some decent love scenes. The movie is centred around Maggie a cute, young woman with a neurotic mother who is coming (with her brother) for a visit. Maggie is living in the bookshop where she works and has just met Kim played by gorgeous Christina Cox! (who I'm sure I saw in a crowd shot of Lilith Fair) They start a relationship just as Maggie has managed to sub-let an apartment and her family arrive.
Other fun and interesting characters include (Judy) a transexual, the bookstore owner and a bisexual, nyphomiac who also works at the bookstore. Once you have seen this movie a few times try watching it with the Director's Commentary which I found very interesting.
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Chocolate between..., February 23, 2000
I give this movie five out of five stars. Although it moves rather quickly you can't help being hook. Twenty minutes of the movie has past and Maggie, 19, not-quite-out, college dropout, and working at Ten Percent bookstore (no it's not a discount store) meets Kim, a nomadic artist, butch but sweet and romance starts. There's a scene that will leave many people exploring the arts.
Within the first twenty minutes, Maggie meets and falls in love with vivacious Kim, helps her conservative lesbian boss fight customs who seem to be trying to put her out of business. Oh, don't forget Maggie has to find a place to live, because her newly divorce mother, Lila is moving in with her along with sibling, Paul, neither who know that Maggie's been living in a bookstore since she quite law school, and she's gay!
Couple this with her omisexual co-worker, and transgender friend, Judy, who has love and parent issues of her/his own, and you've got a great story.
I almost cracked up when Lila goes..."Kim do you have a boyfriend?" and Kim replies, "No...Funny that!" Everyone seems to be in on the joke, but Lila who replies, "What's wrong with boys?" Maggie's fighting off an uncontrollable need for laughter and the audience does too. Wendy Crewson as Lila is an added addition to this romantic comedy.
All said in done, I wonder what it's like to live in that world. Definitely never a dull experience. This is a must see regardless of your lifestyle.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deliciously sweet romantic comedy!!!, March 15, 2003
This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
Canadian director Anne Wheeler's "Better than Chocolate" is a wonderful movie about gay women, but it is also moderately about larger issues, such as liberation and acceptance.
Maggie, a sweetly innocent clerk at a lesbian bookstore appropriately called 10% Books, meets intimidating butch Kim one afternoon. After Kim's van is towed away, they move in together faster than you can say "What the hell are you thinking?" Unfortunately, Maggie's mother Lila and her teenage brother move in that same night, thanks to Lila's nasty divorce. What really complicates matters is that Maggie hasn't come out to her mother yet, and even when she tries, Lila tries to avoid the subject, like she knows what's coming and doesn't want to hear it. (Haven't we all been there?)
Interwoven with this is a dramatic subplot about Judy, a male to female transsexual who's in love with the bookstore's owner Frances, who is always freaking out because custom's officers are holding a list of books she has ordered, claiming the books are obscene and cannot be sold.

The end result is a sweet romantic comedy with a hint of drama, which realistically portraits the problems faced by the lesbian community and how not everyone is willing to accept them. A powerful scene has Judy harassed by another woman for using the ladies room, because she is a man. The woman attacks Judy and begins beating her with a purse, splashing her drink in Judy's face. This was a tragic and powerful moment that really affected me, making me realize how unaccepting people can be of anything that is slightly different. It is moments like this that really make the movie so much better than other lesbian films.
The title "Better than Chocolate" does not refer to sex, but to love, which Lila is convinced she will never find again now that her husband has admitted he's been screwing his partner's wife for more than a year. Since love is doubtful and sex seems out of the question, Lila has turned to chocolate instead.
This is a great movie that really makes you think. It's wonderfully witty, surprisingly charming, and incredibly funny. It's the feel-good-movie of the year that just so happens to be about lesbians. This is highly recommended...is it better than chocolate? Who knows. But it's one [heck] of a great movie!!!
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unconventionally Great "Feel-Good" film, January 19, 2001
This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
After watching this film only once, several of its scenes played over and over again in my head. This is a cleverly humorous film that definitely leaves an impression. The film is about relationships and friendships. There's the relationship between Maggie, a college-drop out trying to find her niche in the world, and Kim, a young artist traveling the country. More humourous is the sweetly awkward romance between the transgendered Judy and the uptight bookstore owner Frances, who is going through a censorship crisis with Canadian Customs. There's the relationship between bisexual Carla and Maggie's younger brother, a classic case of an "older" woman teaching an eager young man about love. The theme of chocolate is cleverly woven into the story, with Carla uttering one of the best lines for bisexual gals in the film: "Soft centers... hard centers...I like all the chocolates in the box!" And then there is Maggie's whiny, chocolate-popping mother, Lila, (brilliantly played by Wendy Crewson) who is going through the trauma of divorce. Along the way Lila discovers her own autonomy and independence, along with her daughter's sexuality which she eventually embraces, thanks to her own sexual evolution (the box!) and her friendship with Judy. There's some great song and dance numbers, my favorite being the sensuous day-glo confection, "Julie Christie." Throw in some steamy love scenes (fingerpainting will never be the same) and you've got a great movie. Buy this film today--you'll find yourself watching it over and over again.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 out of 5 stars!, August 1, 2003
This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
Better Than Chocolate describes itself in the title... a feel good, laugh a lot movie, BTC will hook you into the plot right from the first scene. With an incredible array of characters, including a transgendered(male to female) woman named Judy, the movie is funny and heartfelt. The low budget filming makes it seem that much more real and the storyline is excellent, though the acting may be slightly amateur and the dialogue a little cheesy. The main couple, Maggie and Kim are lesbians, but they represent any other couple going through real-life problems. Wendy Crewson is wonderful as the lonely, unknowing mother, and she steals at least one of the hilarious scenes. Anne-Marie MacDonald plays Frances, the boyish owner of Ten Percent books, where only ten percent of the merchandise is books. Overall, it is a warm, feel good movie, predictable at times but for some reason, I keep watching it, and I find myself crying right along with the characters every time. Definitely see this movie if it's the last thing you do...
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Chocolate - Not!, June 26, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
After reading all the positive reviews for "Better Than Chocolate" here, I can only assume that my age (over 50) accounts for my minority opinion. I've been out for 30 years and have seen a lot of lesbian movies. This sorry mess really scrapes the bottom of the barrel, along with another clunker called "By Design" starring Patty Duke from about 25 years ago. "Better Than Chocolate" is amateurishly acted, has an unbelievable plot, and features stereotypical characters working out a variety of ludicrous liaisons and tribulations. The subplot of male-to-female transsexual as wise woman stuck in my craw, as did one particularly offensive scene in which our heroine, Kim, beats up a hideously cartoonish "transsexual-hating lesbian feminist" type. The lead actresses are cute, so if that's your sole criterion for liking a lesbian movie, be my guest. However, if you prefer some plot development, acting and believability in your cinematic entertainment, be warned -- there ain't none here. Pass me a Hershey's Kiss, please.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOTALLY SURPRIZING, September 7, 2001
By 
FREDRICK F. CALKIN (ROCHESTER HILLS, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Better Than Chocolate (DVD)
I was completly taken back by this movie. Actually I made a mistake when I purchased the DVD. I thought I was buying "Chocolate"! I couldn't stop watching the film. Christina Cox was great as was Karyn Dwyer. If they are in fact not lesbians, all the more credit to their acting. If they are, they should be proud that they have given me a totally different insight of the gay world. I am now convinced that the possibility of true love in a homosexual relationship is not only possible, but entirely natural. This movie gave me a lot to think about, beside the fact that it was without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable dramas that I have seen.
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Better Than Chocolate
Better Than Chocolate by Anne Wheeler (DVD - 1999)
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