Caramel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Caramel Reviews

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½ April 19, 2015
A delightful story, well told and beautifully photographed. Whilst the stories focus on what might be called the traditional areas of women's interest (love, marriage, familial duty) they are neither cloying nor trite.
There are no grand revelations but it is a heart warming film created skilfully.
March 31, 2015
Wonderful, it sums perfectly the sad life of lebanese women ,and how they can find their hapiness in little things but mostly from friendship.
July 6, 2014
Pleasant but unremarkable.
May 5, 2014
This is such a great movie for women (and for men to understand women, too) to enjoy and to think for themselves. These five women illustrated in this film sort of represent different types. Layale (portrayed by Nadine Labaki, the director herself) has an affair with a married man, who never appears in the movie. She's so in love with him that she'd spend hours preparing a romantic meal for him (due to her identity, she can't find a hotel room for this: their religion has huge influence on marriages/lives especially to women there in Lebanon) but he never shows up. All she gets in a voice mail saying that he can't leave his wife for her. (Bloody hell, I see some of me in her, the kind of romantic and dedicated ego). Of course, she's saddened but a beauty like her never lacks of escorts. A charming and kind-hearted police officer has been wanting to ask her out.
March 24, 2014
A simple-but-charming movie about the lives of five related Lebanese women in dealing with their love lives. The cast, the cinematography, the score, all together uplifting Nadine Labaki's CARAMEL from another chick flick drama into a movie you will never forget.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2014
Despite the unrealistically attractive cast, perhaps excessive oestrogen and its deliberate angling to an international audience - I thoroughly enjoyed this film! Doesn't hurt that I watched it with two girlfriends in our room in a monastery in Bsharre, northern Lebanon. Nadine Labaki executes her multiple love stories with wryly humorous dialogue and surprising sensitivity and gently challenges the viewer with a light twist on familiar tropes. I sorely needed this contemporary view to break my stereotypes of Arab countries, and along the way found it an interesting critique of the lack of private spaces for young women in Lebanon. And Joanna Moukarzel has some pipes on her!

Bottom line: If you want to watch a film about Lebanon that doesn't involve war, "Caramel" is a moving, laugh-out-loud funny comedy with plenty of eye candy.
April 26, 2013
An easy amazing way to pass through the Arabian woman culture and how she thinks and care about herself and in the same time how she deals with the Arabian man culture. The film is very good at all.
December 8, 2012
Let's start by saying that Labaki's performance is absolutely brilliant... Other than that, the movie has a sense of "authenticity" from the very first moment to the last. My favorite 2007 movie.
October 11, 2012
Deep and moving. Great soundtrack too.
September 10, 2012
Sukkar Banat (Nadine Labaki, 2007)

The world of the rom-com is one fraught with danger these days. When a rom-com bills itself as a rom-com and then actually does what it tells us it's going to do‚"provide us with shallow, lightweight entertainment‚"they usually end up being gabs of fun. Where things get nasty is when a rom-com tries to be something it's not, be that a deep, serious examination of [insert issue of the day here] or a work of filmic importance-with-a-capital-I. I grant you, it is possible for the rom-com to enter the hallowed halls of the canon, but I'm pretty sure that Howard Hawks never thought ‚I'm making one for the ages!‚? on the set of Bringing Up Baby, nor Billy Wilder during the filming of The Apartment. In other words, kids, if you're going to make a rom-com, make a rom-com.

As a good example, take Sukkar Banat, released in English-speaking countries as Caramel. (For the record: I had no idea that people actually waxed with real honest-to-goodness caramel. I can't imagine wanting to do anything with it but eat it.) When Caramel is doing its rom-com thing, drawing in equal parts from Hollywood (the obvious comparison here is to Barbershop) and Bollywood, it's a gas, funny and bitchy in that Sex-and-the-City sense, poking fun at everything from its main character Layale (played by director Labaki)'s torrid affair with Rabih (a man we never meet) to the oppressive religious atmosphere hanging over Beirut like a never-dispersing mushroom cloud. It is pointed without being heavy-handed, and while one can't ever accuse it of subtlety, it's still charming enough that one can't help but love it. The best part of this ensemble plotline, for my money, is a burgeoning relationship between salon worker Rima (Joanna Moukarzel, who has never been on a screen again‚"that needs to change) and repeat customer Siham (Fatmeh Safa, another non-actor who should be getting regular work). It's the most understated thing in the movie, and given that oppressive religious atmosphere mentioned before, it's also the most shocking. That plotline alone‚"however minor it may be‚"makes this movie worth a wholehearted recommendation.

The problem arises when the movie tries to move into deeper territory without bringing along the sassy attitude, which it does with a few of the stories here. You know the drill, when the music swells... it's odd, because obviously Labaki knows how to adapt the rom-com attitude to serious subjects (again, I will harp on how the movie treats religion here; the montage of Layale trying to get a hotel room for an anniversary celebration with Rabih is golden), but every once in a while, the movie heads for territory where it's obvious Labaki is less comfortable with the style, and I could never quite figure out why.

In other words, not a perfect movie, but a good one, and worth watching; it has more strong points than weak ones. ***
½ August 19, 2012
A film lives up to it's title by being sweet and warm but not sickeningly so. It has been compared to 'Steel Magnolias' and I feared it would have that film's cloying sentimentality but thankfully it doesn't.

On paper, the female protagonists could easily be seen as chick flick stereotypes but the acting and well drawn character observations prevent that. The different cultural background and how it impacts the women is fascinating, and quite enlightening, too but there's still plenty of common ground to relate to.

The ending they've opted for is the most obvious one for a film like this. It does feel predictable and a little cheesy; almost like watching a commercial. The tone isn't so far off the rest of the movie that it ruins it though. It might be an on-the-nose and slightly fluffy ending but it's still an enjoyable, satisfying and in-keeping conclusion to the film.

It is also beautifully shot and the cinematography and direction do elevate it above what it actually is but what it is is still a well observed, well acted female character study...and there's nothing wrong with that.
July 16, 2012
"Caramel" is about friendship. With a beautiful narration style, the movie focuses on the most ordinary and mundane people and follows them in their every day life. Although every one of them is dealing with significant challenges, a deep sense of love, friendship and social consciousness allows them to transcend their daily toils. The movie shatters any prejudices about sectarianism, Muslim versus Christian, young versus old, pro-West versus pro-Arab, and shows a Lebanese society where different cultures can hold on to their differing norms and traditions yet co-exist beautifully. This is the Lebanon I have always known. The movie helps dispel stereotypes about Middle-Easterners and promotes tolerance and friendship. Do not miss out on this great movie.
July 15, 2012
This was slow for me for maybe the first half of the movie, but the 5 women are mostly interesting enough to have made me want to finish the movie and I'm glad I did. Not everyone had the perfect ending and that's life. I had never seen a movie from Lebanon and there are certain little details that inform (power outages seem to happen on a regular basis) and if a policeman sees a man & woman in a car together he can go up to them and ask their relationship. Other things like that.
½ July 3, 2012
I consider this movie one of my favorite ones. It gets to you. This is what I call art, this is what I call to have a passion for filmmaking. Congratulations to the awesome cast, and crew!
June 20, 2012
Cute. Kind of a Lebanese Love, Actually.
May 20, 2012
different funny in its own style....
May 10, 2012
I absolutely fell in love with this movie. The soundtrack is wonderful, the acting is real...you can identify with each character. An all around beautiful and touching movie. I've seen it 3 times and am looking forward to more movies directed by the gorgeous Nadine Labaki.
May 7, 2012
Not as cinematically poetic as it could have been but it's still a wonderful glimpse into an alternative view of Beirut from that given to the world through the International media channels like CNN.
½ May 6, 2012
Good movie. A mixer of drama and common situation. See it before a nap :)
April 8, 2012
Is this the sequel to chocolat?
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