Nobody could have imagined the impact that Vianne [Binoche] would make when she arrived in a tranquil, old-fashioned French town. In her very unusual chocolate shop, she creates mouth-watering confections that almost magically inspire the straitlaced villagers to abandon themselves to temptation and happiness. When a handsome Irish Gypsy [Depp] arrives in town, Vianne is finally able to recognize her own desires.
At the film’s release, Depp talked to CNN about joining the film because he had wanted another opportunity to work with director Lasse Hallstrom [he also worked with him on What's Eating Gilbert Grape]. He also greatly admired Binoche and her previous films and he loved the Chocolat script.
It’s just … so beautiful and so well put together — such a great story. It’s so rare that you get the opportunity to do something like this. It’s really a magical, beautiful film.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Depp’s co-star Binoche, talked about preparing for her role as a chocolate shop owner in the film.
I met this wonderful man called Monsieur Popium in Paris and he has this very simple shop from the outside point of view but when you get inside the smell just gets inside of you and you feel like you have to try some. I met this man because he works near my dentist and once he talked to me about chocolate for about half an hour, I was late for my dentist appointment actually. He was so passionate that I went back to him when I had to prepare for Chocolat and we spent a few afternoons there when he was preparing for Easter. I thought this would stop me loving chocolate because when you know the magic of it is sometimes decreases but infact my love increased because I began to understand all the possibilities and realise what one can do. It is so specific – an Asian chocolate is different from a South American’s chocolate as it is from an African chocolate and the skill of a chocolate maker is to choose the best chocolate and too mix it with the right things – so I’ve been through that and it was great.
Chocolate has long been considered (and frequently shot down) to be a mild aphrodisiac so it’s not surprising that mixing it with the subject of romance would result in a desirable film-watching experience. If you are aspiring to have a romantic night, Valentine’s Day or not, invest in some of the real good stuff at one of the ten best chocolatiers in the world, according to National Geographic’s The Intelligent Traveler or whip up your own decadent creation from a suggested recipe on the Food Network and watch the full version of Chocolat, now available on DVD, Blu-ray or watch it instantly on Amazon or iTunes.
Here’s a clip to tide you over. Happy Valentine’s Day!