Chocolate On Film
By Luba Lesychyn
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.
Theft By Chocolate
Chocolate addict Kalena Boyko wasn’t prepared for this. Heading to work at Canada’s largest museum as an administrator, she hopes for quiet and uninterrupted access to her secret chocolate stash. Instead she’s assigned to manage the high-profile Treasures of the Maya exhibition with her loathed former boss, Richard Pritchard.
With no warning, her life is capsized and propelled into warp speed as she stumbles across an insider plot that could jeopardize the exhibit and the reputation of the museum.
After hearing about a recent botched theft at the museum and an unsolved jewel heist in the past from security guard and amateur sleuth Marco Zeffirelli, Kalena becomes suspicious of Richard and is convinced he’s planning to sabotage the Treasures of the Maya exhibition.
Her suspicions, and the appearance of the mysterious but charming Geoffrey Ogden from the London office, don’t help her concentration. The Treasures of the Maya seems cursed as problem after problem arises, including the disappearance of the world’s oldest piece of chocolate, the signature object in the exhibit.
Theft By Chocolate is inspired by a real-life and never-solved heist at a Canadian museum in the 1980s.
Soon after finishing her graduate studies in history, Luba Lesychyn (le-si-shin) landed on the doorstep of Canada’s largest museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, where she worked for more than twenty years as an educator and consultant. Theft By Chocolate is Luba’s debut novel, though she has been amusing people with her writing since the age of eight. Her love of chocolate precedes this age and she has been in and out of chocolate rehab for most of her adult life. She currently works in the educational sector and teaches yoga in her home town of Toronto. When not writing or looking for her next chocolate fix, Luba can be found in dance classes, trekking to remote waterfalls in the mountain rain forest in Puerto Rico, running through the streets of Paris or doing any other number of calorie-burning activities that help offset the calories consumed in her chocolate intake.
Giveaways: copy of Theft By Chocolate and $150 Certificate
There are two chances to win!
1) Copy of Theft By Chocolate as ebook or print copy (winner’s choice). Answer this question in the comments section (be sure to provide your email): What’s your favorite film of all time and why? In five days, a lucky winner from this blog will win a free copy of Theft By Chocolate!
2) $150 Gift Certificate Giveaway
Do you love chocolate as much as Kalena, the heroine in Theft By Chocolate? Here’s your chance to indulge in $150 US worth! The Giveaway Grand Prize is a gift certificate to a delectable chocolate online retailer. Winner chooses from one of three sites: http://www.chocosphere.com/, http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/ , or http://www.dlea.com.au/ . To be eligible for the Grand Prize, enter the Rafflecopter below. Remember to sign up for Luba’s email announcements (worth five entries). On occasion she’ll send out exclusive announcements for special events, blog posts, giveaways and free swag! On July 31st, the winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.
Luba's Site and Blog
Attica Books (Publisher)