Better Than Chocolate

on August 13, 1999 by Mike Kerrigan
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In this charming little comedy set in a Vancouver lesbian community, the characters have all the usual problems-earning a living, finding someone to love and visits from Mother.
Director Wheeler ("Bye Bye Blues") leads an attractive cast thorough a voyage of self-discovery, leaving the audience with a nice satisfied feeling at the end: Good things happen to nice people-eventually.
T he real strength of Thompson's script is that it covers all the correct political bases but without once being preachy or obvious; she uses a sly wit and disarming good humor to get the points across. This also serves to make the film more accessible, and acceptable, to a wider audience.
The comedy even has flashes of sheer brilliance, such as when Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) and Kim (Christina Cox) are getting to know each other better in Kim's illegally parked van and it is towed away with the confused couple still inside it. The music numbers at the club where several scenes are set are terrific, particularly a salute to Julie Christie with the dancers sporting day-glo wigs and lips.
The title refers, of course, to sex, and there is a lot of it in the film. But it is never squalid, like in so many movies. On the contrary, it is a reflection on everything that is positive, and a celebration of the joys-and toys-of sex.
The cast is uniformly good. It is their comfort in their roles, and with their bodies, that makes the film work on so many levels. In particular, Peter Outerbridge as the transgender Judy reaches deep into the emotional vault to chart his character's highs and lows. And his song "I'm Not a F***ing Drag Queen" is a show-stopper. Starring Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox and Anne-Marie MacDonald. Directed by Anne Wheeler. Written by Peggy Thompson. Produced by Sharon McGowan and Peggy Thompson. A Trimark release. Romance/comedy. Not yet rated. Running time: 98 min.
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