Better Than Chocolate

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Better Than Chocolate
Directed byAnne Wheeler
Written byPeggy Thompson
Produced bySharon McGowan
Peggy Thompson
CinematographyGregory Middleton
Edited byAlison Grace
Music byGraeme Coleman
Distributed byMotion International
Trimark Pictures
Release date
  • February 14, 1999 (1999-02-14)
Running time
102 mins
Budget$1.6 million.[1]

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


Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) has moved out on her own and has started a relationship with Kim (Christina Cox). Maggie's mother Lila (Wendy Crewson) and brother are forced to move into her loft sublet with her, but unaware that she is a lesbian. Maggie's freedom is compromised, and she believes she must keep her blossoming affair a secret. The clandestine romance introduces Maggie's family to a host of new experiences, many of which are "better than chocolate".[3] The story features Judy, a friend of Maggie's who is a transgender woman. Judy develops a friendship with Maggie's Mom and helps her to repair her relationship with her daughter. Judy's love interest is Frances, owner of the book shop in which Maggie works and purveyor of LGBT literature.



The film was created with a budget of $1.6 million.[1] It was co-produced by Peggy Thompson and Sharon McGowan.[4]

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."[5] An advertisement in the San Diego Union-Tribune was also removed, due to the word "lesbian" being present on the movie poster.[6]


The soundtrack of the film was released as a CD in 1999 on Lakeshore Records.[7]

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


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 46% of 26 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6/10. The website's consensus reads: "Some things are Better Than Chocolate, while some are far worse – and this would-be romance fails to deliver a filling morsel."[8] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 59 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[9]

Stephen Holden of the New York Times gave the film a positive review and wrote: "the movie gushes with so much romantic optimism and good humor that it has the effervescence of an engaging musical comedy".[3]


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.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c George Melnyk (2004). One Hundred Years of Canadian Cinema. University of Toronto Press. pp. 173, 339. ISBN 978-0-8020-8444-6.
  2. ^ "Review of Better Than Chocolate". AfterEllen, Aug 13, 2007
  3. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (13 August 1999). "FILM REVIEW; The Many Flavors of Love, For Just About Any Taste". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2015-05-27.
  4. ^ "Nothing better than Chocolate for veteran director Wheeler"[permanent dead link]. Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont. Walker, Susan. Aug 13, 1999. Page: E1
  5. ^ Statement for the decision on a poster for a Category III film
  6. ^ San Diego Union-Tribune Refuses to Run The Word 'Lesbian' in Advertising
  7. ^ "Original Soundtrack Better Than Chocolate". AllMusic, Review by Stacia Proefrock
  8. ^ "Better than Chocolate (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  9. ^ "Better Than Chocolate Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  10. ^ "The Sixth Sense to Fight Club (August - October 1999)". Pop Matters, 24 March 2009

External links[edit]