When I was in college, I majored in Fashion Merchandising Mgt., and as part of one of my Read/Writing WKSHP courses, I had to read this book. After reading it, I realized it was a wonderful book. I don't know what I had done with book but that was back in 1994. I was at the library one day and I spotted it and rented it out. It was not my first time seeing it either. The movie is sensual, playful, and extremely evocative. It helps that the source material, Laura Esquivel's novel, is also exquisite and unusual (using recipes as a structural device, much in the way diary entries have traditionally done). Alfonso Arau visualizes the novel brilliantly; this was one rare case where the literary work and the film are complementary instead of in competition. Ironic, then, that this bittersweet romance of almost mythic emotional force came from the collaboration of Esquivel and Arau, who are divorced.
This film is about Tia, a Mexican girl who wants to marry a boy named Pedro. Her only problem -- and it's a bad one -- is her mother, Mama Elena. Mama Elena upholds an old family tradition where the youngest daughter is to stay home and take care of her mother. It's a good idea in theory, but in practice somebody obviously failed to consider what might happen to the youngest daughter when the mother dies. Because Mama Elena insists that Pedro marry Rosaura and not Tita, Pedro does marry Rosaura -- but only to be near Tita. Tita has to cook the wedding feast, and her tears fall into the batter of the wedding cake. And the magic begins.
The two primary actresses are excellent. I really wanted Tita to find happiness -- especially with Pedro. As for Mama Elena, I hated her enough to want to strangle her. Kudos to the actress who played her for creating such a despicable part. The actor who played Pedro was acceptable, but he didn't have that much to do. Of course, it is a film where women are the most important characters, so maybe that's why the actor didn't have much to do. After watching this movie you will realize that "Like Water for Chocolate" is more than a movie, it's an experience. In all the aspects it's a great love story with culture and spice!