Chocolat Vs. Chocolat

RVR

books

Ugh, no thank you. I was very surprised to find that I disliked the Chocolat the movie so much. Chocolat the book was easy enough to interpret as a movie yet somehow someone managed to screw it all up.

I don’t mind creative liberty when going from book to movie but there is a difference between “based on the novel” and “inspired by the novel”. The movie was definitely “inspired by the novel”.

The movie kept the conflict of “Chocolate vs. The Church” but skewed it in what I assume was an effort not to hurt feelings. Instead of it being Vianne versus Pastor Reynaud it was Vianne versus mayor Reynaud. They inserted character who took the church too seriously and gave the village priest a smaller role and a different name. They added a character who wasn’t in the book so no one would be offended. That was annoying.

Key plot points of the book were also changed. Instead of Vianne leasing the bakery and apartment from a company in a city nearby, she rented it directly from Armande. I guess they didn’t want to waste time to introduce that character. For some reason, Anouk’s imaginary pet was changed from a rabbit to a kangaroo and Caroline’s husband is dead. Vianne running from the “Black Man” was also non-existent.

The characters were also terribly interpreted. In the book, Vianne was a calm woman who used what magic she had to help people. Outside of Josephine, she didn’t push people to eat her food or play games. Movie Vianne was pushy and sorta kinda batshit. There was a scene where she was hollering and kicking a statue in the village square. What even?

Armande was a mean old bitch in the movie. Book Armande was a kooky old woman who smiled and had fun. I got that the movie was going for a “hardened old woman with a heart of gold” type thing but it was 100% not necessary.

Roux was just Johnny Depp with a guitar. Nothing like he was in the book.

The movie was completely devoid of the whimsey and magic that the book intertwined with delicious food. Had I watched the movie before I read the book, I think I would’ve enjoyed it. It wasn’t a bad movie, it was just bad compared to the book.

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