Stars of the silver screen play on our desires to drive our interest in their stories. A sure way to capture the attention of viewers is through their stomachs – and several savvy celebrities have used the medium of chocolate to do this.
I Love Lucy – 1951
This ever-popular “golden oldie” TV show ran for six years, from to 1951 to 1957. It centred on the hilarious exploits of Lucy, the wife of a singer who yearns to be famous and has a knack for getting herself into trouble. In her famous chocolate scene, Lucy and her best friend Ethel take jobs packaging chocolates. The work seems easy at first when a supervisor shows them what to do, but then the pace of the conveyer belt picks up and the women can’t keep up – so they resort to hilarious, drastic measures. What’s great about this skit is that it succeeds in turning delicious-looking, bite-size chocolates into a source of fear and panic – something you don’t often associate with the world’s most widely eaten confectionary!
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – 1971
Based on the well- loved children’s story by Roald Dahl, this movie owes much of its magic to sugar – to all types of sweets, and especially to chocolate. The eccentric Willy Wonka runs a Chocolate Factory, which has been closed to the public for many years. Five lucky children each find a golden ticket entitling them and their guardians to a tour of the factory. Among them is the endearing Charlie, who’s family is desperately poor. Included in the many surprises they encounter in the factory are a chocolate river and fields with green sugar grass and colourful flowers, peopled by the industrious but tiny tribes people known as Oompa-Loompas.
Forrest Gump – 1994
This classic opening scene from Forrest Gump is probably one of the best known from any movie. “Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get”, says Forrest. As the rest of the movie proceeds to demonstrate, life is full of unpredictable twists and turns. The innocence of Forrest’s character – and of course the box of chocolates – are what combined to make this movie a run-away hit. The role of Forrest Gump earned Tom Hanks an Academy Award.
Matilda – 1996
Another adaptation of a Roald Dahl story, Matilda is the story of a young girl who grows up with a dim witted mother, a father who’s an unscrupulous used car salesman and a spoilt brat of a brother. She’s sent to a school run by Ms Trunchball, a notoriously vile headmistress who subjects her students to various unreasonable punishments for the smallest transgressions. Poor Bruce Bogtrotter, a heavy-set child, is made to eat an entire chocolate cake for his crime of stealing some food from the kitchen. What is meant to be torture, however, turns out to be triumph.
Chocolat – 2000
This charming tale of a mother and daughter who start up an artisan chocolate store in a small French village is a sure way to get your mouth watering. The two women specialize in devising the perfect chocolates, based on their customers’ personalities and situations. They win over the conservative townspeople, one at a time, through their delicious confections.
A guest post by Jeff from Chocolate Time – a chocolatier in Cape Town, South Africa that makes handmade chocolates.