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Caramel

4.1 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A Beirut beauty salon becomes a treasured meeting place for several generations of women, from various walks of life, to talk, seek advice and confide in one another.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Nadine Labaki, Joanna Moukarzel, Gisèle Aouad, Yasmine Al Massri, Adel Karam
  • Directors: Nadine Labaki
  • Writers: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Rodney El Haddad
  • Producers: Anne-Dominique Toussaint, Raphaël Berdugo, Rémi Burah, Stéphane Riga
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0016MLIK2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,756 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Caramel" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Barry TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 20, 2008
Format: DVD
"Caramel" is not what you'd expect of Lebanese filmmaking and in particular movies about that most troubled of their cities - Beirut. I found it touching, unbelievably insightful and genuinely romantic too - it's one of the loveliest watches I've had the pleasure of seeing in years.

The largely unknown cast is superb and each deserves specific mention:
NADINE LABAKI plays LAYALE - the sexy yet scatterbrained 35-year old owner of "Si Belle" - a salon that acts as emotion-central for co-workers and girlfriends. Layale is having a giddy but demeaning affair with a married man whom we never see except as a shadow in a car under a bridge - or hear him - as he honks his horn outside the premises for her to come running...

YASMINE AL MASRI plays NISRINE - one of Layale's best workers - the beautiful and young Nisrine is having doubts about her forthcoming marriage to BASSAM a headstrong modern man played by ISMAL ANTAR. Bassam is a man who will take on the oppressive state and even God rather than capitulate; Nisrine's also worried that Bassam might not want her should he find out about her less-than-virginal past

GISELE AOUAD plays JAMALE TARABAY - a customer and friend of the younger ladies. Jamale's mid to late 40's, an actress who is getting too old to nab the lucrative advert roles anymore and goes to sad and desperate lengths to stay young-looking.

JOANNA MOUKARZEL plays the slightly butch RIMA - a lowly washer of hair in the saloon who falls silently and breathlessly in love with a beautiful woman who walks in off the street one afternoon. She is played by FATME SAFA - and may even share with shy Rima the love that dares not speaks its name...
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Format: DVD
SUKKAR BANAT (CARAMEL) marks a fine directorial debut for the stunningly beautiful Lebanese actress Nadine Labaki. Though films about the private lives of a circle of women who gather in a mutual watering hole to gossip, share joys and pains of love affairs, as well as being the important support group they all need are plentiful (think STEEL MAGNOLIAS), few come as close to the intimacy shared by this talented cast whose disparate problems keep the film flying. The screenplay by Rodney El Haddad and Jihad Hojeily is greatly enhanced by the cinematography by Yves Sehnaoui with the atmospheric musical score by Khaled Mouzannar, but it is the impeccable cast that completes this tender, humorous, and gently sentimental little tale.

The film shows us a Lebanon we rarely see. The setting is a Beirut beauty salon La Belle owned by Layale (Nadine Labaki) whose frequent absences from her place of business are due to trysts with a married man, trysts often delayed by a police officer, the handsome and infatuated Youssef (Adel Karram). Working in the shop is Rima (Johanna Moukarzel) whose same sex infatuation with a beautiful patron is subtly explored, and regulars in the salon include an aging wannabe actress Jamale (Gisèle Aouad), a non virgin bride to be Nisrine (Yasmine Elmasri) and an older seamstress Rose (Sihame Haddad) who has elected to relinquish her hopes for love with a willing and potential elderly man Charles (Dimitri Staneofski) in favor of continuing to care for her humorously senile mother Lili (Aziza Semaan).

How these unforgettable characters interact, displacing each other's anxieties by caring friendship freely shared, offers each of these fine actresses many moments of glory in addition to creating a fine ensemble effect as sensitively directed by Nadine Labaki. This little film (in Arabic and French with subtitles) is a complete pleasure and will likely draw attention to future films from Lebanon. Grady Harp, July 08
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Format: DVD
This film presents a slice-of-life type drama/romantic comedy of five women in Beirut. Four of the women work in a hair salon, the fifth is a seamstress next door and aunt of one of the salon owners. We follow their ups and downs, their hopes and dreams. This a film about relationships and about friendship and about choices. We learn about the relationships between all the women and the ups and downs in their love lives. The love lives of all five women is complicated in some way. The main character Layale (played by Nadine Labaki, who also wrote and directed the film) is in love with a man who is married to another women. She goes through all sorts of machinations for this man, but in the end, he doesn't really love her and won't leave his wife. One of the women is a Muslim and soon to be married. Her lack of virginity may be a problem on her wedding day. One of the women is a lesbian who is attracted to one of the customers at the salon, and the fourth woman is older and divorced with kids but actively looking for romance. Layale's aunt lives next door and meets an American to whom she is attracted. There is really a lot to like about this film. Each of the women must make choices about their relationships and live with the consequences one way or the other. Some of these choices work out well, others not so good. Through it all though is their friendship for each other. This film also presents an interesting insight into daily life in Beirut. It explores some of the complexities of the intermixed confessional nature of Lebanese life, and provides a small window into life in Beirut. A well-done romantic comedy/drama, definitely worth a look.
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