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Better Than Chocolate

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Better Than Chocolate
Better Than Chocolate (film).jpg
Directed by Anne Wheeler
Produced bySharon McGowan
Peggy Thompson
Written byPeggy Thompson
Music byGraeme Coleman
Cinematography Gregory Middleton
Edited byAlison Grace
Distributed byMotion International
Trimark Pictures
Release date
February 14, 1999
Running time
102 mins
Country Canada

Better Than Chocolate is a 1999 Canadian romantic comedy movie shot in Vancouver directed by Anne Wheeler. [1] [2]

Cinema of Canada filmmaking industry in Canada

The cinema of Canada or Canadian cinema refers to the filmmaking industry in Canada. Canada is home to several film studios centres, primarily located in its three largest metropolitan centres: Toronto, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and Vancouver, British Columbia. Industries and communities tend to be regional and niche in nature. Approximately 1,000 Anglophone-Canadian and 600 Francophone-Canadian feature-length films have been produced, or partially produced, by the Canadian film industry since 1911.

Romantic comedy Film genre

Romantic comedy is a subgenre of comedy and slice-of-life fiction, focusing on lighthearted, humorous plot lines centered on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles. One dictionary definition is "a funny movie, play, or television program about a love story that ends happily". Another definition suggests that its "primary distinguishing feature is a love plot in which two sympathetic and well-matched lovers are united or reconciled".

Film Sequence of images that give the impression of movement

Film, also called movie or motion picture, is a visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty or atmosphere by the means of recorded or programmed moving images along with other sensory stimulations. The word "cinema", short for cinematography, is often used to refer to filmmaking and the film industry, and to the art form that is the result of it.



Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) has recently moved out on her own and has started a relationship with Kim (Christina Cox). However, Maggie's mother Lila (Wendy Crewson) and brother, who are forced to move into her loft sublet with her, are unaware that she is queer. Maggie's freedom is compromised, and she believes she must keep her blossoming affair a secret. However, the clandestine romance introduces Maggie's family to a host of new experiences, many of which are "better than chocolate". [3]

Karyn Dwyer Canadian actress

Karyn Dwyer was a Canadian actress, whose best known role was as Maggie in the 1999 film Better Than Chocolate.

Christina Cox Canadian actress

Christina Cox is a Canadian film and television actress and stuntwoman.

Wendy Crewson Canadian actress

Wendy Jane Crewson is a Canadian actress and producer. She began her career appearing on Canadian television, before her breakthrough role in 1991 dramatic film The Doctor.

The cast also includes Ann-Marie MacDonald as the bisexual Frances, the owner of a LGBT bookstore where Maggie works, and Peter Outerbridge as Judy, a trans woman with a crush on Frances.

Ann-Marie MacDonald Canadian playwright, novelist, actress and broadcast journalist

Ann-Marie MacDonald is a Canadian playwright, novelist, actress and broadcast host who lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The daughter of a member of Canada's military, she was born at an air force base near Baden-Baden, West Germany. She is of Lebanese descent through her mother.

Peter Outerbridge Canadian actor

Peter Outerbridge is a Canadian actor, best known for his role as Ari Tasarov in the CW action series Nikita, Dr. David Sandström in the TMN series ReGenesis, Henrik "Hank" Johanssen in Orphan Black, Bob Corbett in Bomb Girls, William Easton in Saw VI and George Brown in the television film John A.: Birth of a Country. He also played the lead role of Detective William Murdoch in a three-episode mini-series, The Murdoch Mysteries, in its initial run on Canadian television, with two episodes shown in 2004 and a third in 2005.


Marya Delver is a Canadian actress. She is most noted for her role as Laurel in the 2001 film Last Wedding, for which she was a Genie Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress at the 22nd Genie Awards, and her recurring role as Officer Eglee in Sons of Anarchy.

Anthony "Tony" Nappo is a Canadian actor. He is best known for his roles in Four Brothers, Saw II, Land of the Dead, Bad Blood, and Born to be Blue. He also is the voice of Jimmy Falcone (MacDougall) in Fugget About It.

James "Jay" Brazeau is a Canadian actor and voice actor from Winnipeg, Manitoba.


The film screened at film festivals around the world and was ranked 31st on The Hollywood Reporter 's Top 200 independent films list of 1999. [4]

<i>The Hollywood Reporter</i> American magazine and website focusing on the Hollywood entertainment industry

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) is an American digital and print magazine, and website, which focuses on the Hollywood film, television, and entertainment industries. It was founded in 1930 as a daily trade paper, and in 2010 switched to a weekly large-format print magazine with a revamped website.

Independent film Film done outside major film studio system

An independent film, independent movie, indie film or indie movie is a feature film or short film that is produced outside the major film studio system, in addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies. Independent films are sometimes distinguishable by their content and style and the way in which the filmmakers' personal artistic vision is realized. Usually, but not always, independent films are made with considerably lower budgets than major studio films.


The film was created with a budget of $1.6 million. [2] It was co-produced by Peggy Thompson and Sharon McGowan. [5]

The film takes its name from a lyric in Sarah McLachlan's song "Ice Cream", "Your love is better than chocolate". Veena Sood, the sister of McLachlan's then-husband Ashwin Sood, has a small role in the film as a religious protester.

The plot line about the bookstore is a fairly direct reference to Vancouver's Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium and its travails with Canada Customs. The bookstore is thanked in the credits. Ann-Marie MacDonald, who plays the bookstore's owner, is a well-known Canadian author.

The movie poster, which shows two women embracing and one woman's naked back, was banned by the Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority as it was deemed "offensive to public morality, decency and ordinary good taste." [6] An advertisement in the San Diego Union-Tribune was also removed, due to the word "lesbian" being present on the movie poster. [7]


The soundtrack of the film was released as a CD in 1999 on Lakeshore Records. [8]

Track listing
  1. Sexy - West End Girls
  2. When I Think Of You - Melanie Dekker
  3. 32 Flavors - Ani DiFranco
  4. Julie Christie - Lorraine Bowen
  5. Perfect Fingers - Tami Greer
  6. Let's Have Sex - Studio Kings 2.0/Trippy
  7. In My Mind - Trippy
  8. My Place - Edgar
  9. I'm Not A Fucking Drag Queen - Peter Outerbridge
  10. Stand Up - Ferron
  11. Night - Feisty
  12. Long Gone - Kelly Brock
  13. Pure (You're Touching Me) - West End Girls

See also

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  1. "Review of Better Than Chocolate". AfterEllen, Aug 13, 2007
  2. 1 2 George Melnyk (2004). One Hundred Years of Canadian Cinema. University of Toronto Press. pp. 173, 339. ISBN   978-0-8020-8444-6.
  3. "FILM REVIEW; The Many Flavors of Love, For Just About Any Taste". New York Times. By STEPHEN HOLDEN August 13, 1999
  4. "The Sixth Sense to Fight Club (August - October 1999)". Pop Matters, 24 March 2009
  5. "Nothing better than Chocolate for veteran director Wheeler". Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont. Walker, Susan. Aug 13, 1999. Page: E1
  6. Statement for the decision on a poster for a Category III film
  7. San Diego Union-Tribune Refuses to Run The Word 'Lesbian' in Advertising
  8. "Original Soundtrack Better Than Chocolate". AllMusic, Review by Stacia Proefrock