Like Water for Chocolate



Passionate tale of lost and regained love.
  • Review Date: August 29, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 123 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the film shows great passion and some very strong women, it also portrays a constant presence of infidelity on the part of both men and women.


The mother abuses her youngest daughter both physically and emotionally, attempted rape occurs, and someone catches on fire.


Constant sense of sexual tension, some overt moments of eroticism (but tasteful), male and female frontal nudity, and multiple instances of childbirth

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasional drinking with meals and during rabblerousing by revolutionaries.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a mature and sensual movie. While not sexually explicit, sexual desire and threats of infidelity drive the entire film. It also includes a rather abusive (both physically and emotionally) mother/daughter relationship.

What's the story?

The youngest of three daughters in a Mexican family, Tita, is doomed by tradition to remain a virgin and forever care for her mother. LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE depicts the emotional struggle suffered by Tita following her loss of and longing for Pedro, and her attempts to escape the controlling fists of her mother. The film works through a series of highly charged relationships utilizing uncommon visual elegance and a sense of mysticism that visually depicts the Mexican literary tradition of magical realism.

Is it any good?


This movie was filmbed mostly in Spanish with English subtitles. Based on the first novel by screenwriter Laura Esquivel, it presents a visually stunning tale of repressed passion, lost love, and the magical powers of food.

Like Water for Chocolate swept the Ariel Awards (Mexico's equivalent to the American Oscars), garnering awards for best picture, acting, direction, screenplay, cinematography, set design, and production design. From story to execution, it exudes quality.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about issues such as family duty, generational conflict, gender equality, and cultural traditions. Parents may also want to discuss how this film's use of magical realism differs from more traditional American writing and filmmaking.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1992
DVD release date:August 10, 1999
Cast:Caroline Aaron, Lumi Cavazos, Marco Leonardi, Regina Tome
Director:Alfonso Arau
Run time:123 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexuality

This review of Like Water for Chocolate was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old February 17, 2011


I love it!!! I read the book for spanish, and it's amazing!!! The great thing about the movie is that the plot is very faithful to the book's plot, because the author actually wrote the script. It is also amazing to see how Esquivel links food to life; after I finished the book, I was pursued by a NEEEED to cook:)
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent Written byemmastanley August 15, 2015
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of a 17 year old Written byhendri September 22, 2010


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