Like Water for Chocolate (film)

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Like Water for Chocolate
Directed by Alfonso Arau
Produced by Alfonso Arau
Written by Laura Esquivel
Cinematography Steven Bernstein
Emmanuel Lubezki
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date
  • 16 April 1992 (1992-04-16)
Running time
123 minutes
Country Mexico
Language Spanish/English
Box office $21.6 million (USA) [1]

Like Water for Chocolate (Spanish: Como Agua Para Chocolate) is a 1992 Mexican film in the style of magical realism based on the popular novel, published in 1989 by first-time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel.[2] It earned ten Ariel Awards including the Best Picture and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film became the highest grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the United States at the time.[3] The film was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 65th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[4][5]


This story consists of a girl named Tita. Tita is the youngest out of her sisters and her mother Elena has a tradition that goes through the family that states the youngest daughter has the duty of caring for her mother until she dies. When Tita meets a boy named Pedro they quickly fall in love. Pedro goes to Titas house and asks her mother if they are allowed to marry. Elena forbids it and instead suggests Tita’s older sister Rosaura instead. Pedro decided to accept and Tita becomes devastated. After the wedding Pedro tells Tita that he only married her sister so that he will be able to stay close to his true beloved.

This family structure within the film is very important. Rosaura is the oldest, she is at the top of the chain. Then there is Gertrudis, the middles child who was created by an affair with another man. Then there is Tita, the youngest daughter who is always fighting for her rights. Each daughter represents something within the Mexican revolution. Rosaura is representing the upper class, the people who get things handed to them and have nothing to worry about. Gertrudis represents people who are actually in the revolution, since she runs away and joins it. While Tita represents the people who are left fighting for their rights. The people who are given nothing in return.

Before the wedding Tita is preparing the food for her sister’s wedding with Nacha. As they are preparing the food some of Titas tears gets mixed in with the batter. This results in an emotional riot that happens after the family eats the cake. Everyone feels devastated and is longing for their one true love. This happened again after Pedro gives Tita flowers. She uses the roses to prepare a sauce. As they are eating dinner everyone feels an intense passion. Gertrudis even sets the shower on fire with all of her passion.

Tita was actually born on a kitchen table and spent most of her time with Nacha. She knew the smells of the kitchen and learned how to cook at a young age. When Rosaura has here baby Tita even soothes him and calms him down by bringing him into the kitchen. In the kitchen Tita is able to connect with Pedro. She states that when she puts all of her passion into her food after Pedro eats it, it is like she is entering his body in a sexual way. That has always been how the two connected. They did not need physical touch, when Tita was an expert in the kitchen and was able to make others feel what she was feeling when she prepared the food.

Later Rosaura has a baby boy and after that their mother becomes more suspicious about Tita and Pedro. She sends Pedro and Rosaura away to a different state to get Pedro away from Tita. After Tita’s sister moves the baby became sick and died. Everyone blames Elena because she sent them away and they were not able to care for the boy the way Tita did. Tita then becomes extremely sad due to the loss and is sent away for care. There Dr. John Brown heals her and they begin their relationship. They plan to marry shortly after, but then Elena dies and Pedro and Rosaura come back. Pedro is still in love with Tita even after finding out that she is going to marry Dr. Brown.

Once Dr. Brown leaves for business Tita sleep with Pedro. After an alarming false pregnancy Tita tells her soon to be husband and he supports her decision to decide to call off the wedding. After years go by Rosaura dies of digestive problems and her daughter Esperanza marries Dr. Brown’s son. After the wedding Tita and Pedro make love, but Pedro died of being too happy all at once. Tita then swallows matches and then the whole house gets set on fire. After Esperanza goes back to the house she finds a cook book with recipes and the story of Tita’s and Pedro’s forbidden love story.


  • Lumi Cavazos as Tita
  • Marco Leonardi as Pedro
  • Regina Torné as Mama Elena
  • Mario Iván Martínez as Doctor John Brown
  • Ada Carrasco as Nacha
  • Yareli Arizmendi as Rosaura
  • Claudette Maillé as Gertrudis
  • Pilar Aranda as Chencha
  • Farnesio de Bernal as Cura
  • Joaquín Garrido as Sargento Treviño
  • Rodolfo Arias as Juan Alejándrez
  • Margarita Isabel as Paquita Lobo
  • Sandra Arau as Esperanza Muzquiz
  • Andrés García Jr as Alex Brown
  • Regino Herrera as Nicolás
  • Genaro Aguirre as Rosalio
  • David Ostrosky as Juan de la Garza
  • Brígida Alexander as Tia Mary
  • Amado Ramírez as Pedro's father
  • Arcelia Ramírez as Esperanza's daughter
  • Socorro Rodríguez as friend of Paquita
  • Rafael García Zuazua as godfather
  • Rafael García Zuazua Jr as Alex (child)
  • Edurne Ballesteros as Tita (teenager)
  • Melisa Mares as Rosaura (child)
  • Gabriela Canudas as Rosaura (teenager)
  • Natalia De la Fuente as Gertrudis (child)
  • Beatriz Elías as Gertrudis (teenager)

Filming location[edit]


Like Water for Chocolate received positive reviews from critics, as the film holds a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 30 reviews.


Ariel Awards[edit]

The Ariel Awards are awarded annually by the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences in Mexico. Como Agua Para Chocolate received ten awards out of 14 nominations.[6]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1992 Como Agua Para Chocolate Best Picture Won
Alfonso Arau Best Director Won
Mario Iván Martínez Best Actor Won
Regina Torné Best Actress Won
Lumi Cavazos Nominated
Claudette Maillé Best Supporting Actress Won
Pilar Aranda Nominated
Joaquín Garrido Best Actor in a Minor Role Nominated
Margarita Isabel Best Actress in a Minor Role Won
Laura Esquivel Best Screenplay Won
Emmanuel Lubezki Best Cinematography Won
Carlos Bolado and Francisco Chiú Best Editing Nominated
Emilio Mendoza, Gonzalo Ceja and Ricardo Mendoza Best Production Design Won
Marco Antonio Arteaga, Carlos Brown, Mauricio De Aguinaco and Denise Pizzini Best Set Design Won

Golden Globe Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1992 Como Agua Para Chocolate Best Foreign Language Film Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Laura Esquivel Biography
  3. ^ Neibylski, Dianna C (1998). "Heartburn, Humor and Hyperbole in Like Water for Chocolate". In Hengen, Shannon. Performing Gender and Comedy: Theories, Texts and subtext. Routledge. p. 189. ISBN 90-5699-539-1.  Google excerpt.
  4. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  5. ^ "Foreign Oscar entries submitted". Variety. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "XXXIV 1992 — Ganadores y nominados" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas. 1992. Retrieved October 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]