I love chocolate. And, I love film. So there’s no greater treat in my life than a film about chocolate. They are few and far between, and it was only by chance that I recently stumbled upon a charming French romantic comedy with chocolate as its central theme.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Améris, the 2010 film, Romantics Anonymous, portrays an awkward romance between chocolate factory owner Jean-René (Benoît Poelvoorde) who hires Angélique (Isabelle Carré), a gifted, but closeted chocolatière, to work as a sales rep for his company.
The pas de deux that ensues between the two painfully shy and socially crippled characters is sweet and silly, occasionally steamy, at times politically incorrect, but overall freshly mirthful. Carré is particularly delightful as the humble master chocolate artist whose serious skills rescue Jean-René ‘s failing chocolate factory.
Although the film is syrupy and funny, for chocolate lovers like me, the tantalizing chocolate-making scenes are far too rare. I was hoping for another gem like Chocolat, which set the bar for movies about chocolate. Just thinking about this movie still makes me drool – not to mention that it stars Johnny Depp (ultra yummy) and Juliette Binoche (who doesn’t love her?).
But in other ways, Romantics Anonymous can be said to be more satisfying than Like Water for Chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, this 1992 Mexican film is a brilliantly sensual movie about cooking. But save for one scene that involves making a mole sauce (composed of chocolate and chili), chocolate is not the star of the film (the term “like water for chocolate” is actually a metaphor for describing a state of passion).
So, Romantics Anonymous is most definitely worth those scenes that may send you running to your secret stash of chocolate. But even if this peculiar little film doesn’t have this effect on you, it’s so darned cute, I’m convinced it will elicit a few giggles.