chocolat

Gene Wilder in

When you boil the holidays we celebrate down to their essentials, the vast majority of them all reveal themselves to be about the same exact thing—candy. On Halloween we celebrate ghouls and candy, on Christmas it’s the Baby Jesus and Candy, on Easter it’s Undead Jesus and candy, and on Valentine’s Day it’s romance and candy. Basically, we take a break on Thanksgiving to eat pie, and that’s about the only exception. Sure, Halloween costumes, Christmas lights, and family togetherness all have their attractive qualities, but seeing as we’ve woven the consumption of candy into some level of each of these different holidays, maybe it’s about time we admit to ourselves that they were put together simply as transparent excuses for us to binge on sickly sweet confections in the first place. Of course, for movie geeks, holidays take on an additional purpose than the ones they serve for most other people. For us they serve both as an excuse to eat candy, and as an excuse to have movie marathons. On Halloween we tear through gruesome slashers (and trick or treat candy), on Christmas we stuff ourselves with sappy nostalgia (and stocking candy), and it all feels pretty damned good. There’s a problem with the holiday we’ve got coming up though, Valentine’s Day, in that anyone wanting to keep their movie marathon thematically appropriate is going to have to spend the day watching a bunch of rom-coms, and—let’s be honest—there are only so many of those that are good […]

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Of many preferred professions, I find chefs to be on the right end of the hotness scale. Their passion for food translates into multiple areas of life and it’s hard not to get swept away into a blissful utopia where calories don’t count but your opinion of that chocolate mousse does. As you may have guessed, I have been suckered into this world once or twice, and unlike the obsessions of mine that turned sour, my chef love remains. I had high expectations for the Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart led kitchen romance No Reservations. Two hot-tempered executive chefs forced together to run one kitchen sounded almost as steamy as angry sex in the Grey’s Anatomy on-call room. The potential for secret glances over chopping boards and mutual arousal from yelling at their sous chef seemed inevitable. However, the movie wasn’t about the sexy times of these two hot chefs. Rather it was more about Zeta-Jones’ Kate and Eckhart’s Nick learning to put aside their ambition and realize what’s important in life. Sex and cooking go hand-in-hand, so thankfully the couple does partake in a few tingly make-out moments and fade-to-black sex scenes. But most of the movie’s heavy petting is left for the dough in the prep oven. Tough lady chefs like Zeta-Jones’ Kate are modeled after real chefs, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood has been quick to allow women to be tough and sexy on screen. On the contrary, many movies featuring female cooks have been just that—cooks.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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