25 Jul 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - Better Than Chocolate

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?

Better than Chocolate is about young lesbians Maggie & Kim and Maggie's friends and family.

The following analysis may contain spoilers for


"Do you actually think you're in love?  Well?" ~ Maggie's Mum.

RULE #1 - A Coming Out Story

Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) is out as a lesbian, but not out to her family.  She dresses in a pseudo-masculine manner, but has long flowing hair.  Maggie drinks beer, but Maggie's mum thinks wine is much more lady-like.  The film is primarily from her point of view, especially at the beginning, but grows to tell the stories of a few of the secondary characters along the way.

RULE #2 - There May Be T&A

Both main characters get naked a number of times, mostly for sex scenes.

RULE #3 - Unsatisfied

Maggie starts the film single and out, no boyfriend (although her mother mentions a boy she was seeing in high school, but he was gay.)  She has however dropped out of college where she was studying to be a lawyer, obviously dissatisfied with that career path, and is budding window display artist or writer.

RULE #4 - Enter the Lesbian

Kim (Christina Cox) is short-haired (but does wear a hairpin that totally cutes it out), out, has more masculine facial features and, like Maggie, dresses in a pseudo-masculine manner.  Kim lives in a van and travels - and is thus an outsider.  She is more voluptuous than Maggie, but that's splitting hairs.

RULE #5 - Just Good Friends

Although Maggie pretends to be just friends with Kim for her mother's benefit, she doesn't try to convince herself of it, and there's never really a stage where they are really just friends, almost becoming lovers as soon as they met.

RULE #6 - Rejection By Friends and Family

Maggie's mother spends much of the film completely oblivious to Maggie's sexuality and cutting people off when they try to talk to her about it.  When her mother does find out and demands to know if Maggie thinks she's in love, they have an argument about Maggie's mother trying to control her life.
Tony, the owner of the store next door to the gay bookshop Maggie works at doesn't like homosexual displays of affection in his cafe and fears the blow-back from homophobic attacks.  Otherwise he seems to accept lesbians.

RULE #7 - Will They, Won't They/On Again, Off Again

No will-they-won't-they.  They try to get together almost immediately only stopped by Kim's van getting towed.  They do have an argument when Maggie refuses to answer her mother's question "Do you actually think you in love?" but get back together at the end.

RULE #8 - Redemption/Acceptance

Maggie's mother tells Maggie to go after Kim and Tony doesn't seem to upset that his shop has blown up.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After?

Gives many of the characters - especially the main character and main couple a happily ever after.

RULE #10 - No Sequels

No sequels.


  • Rules that are followed in this film:  2, 4, 9, 10.
  • Rules that are partially followed, or not clear, in this film:  1, 3, 6, 8.
  • Rules that are not followed in this film:  5, 7.
~ DUG.
Remember to do the survey to determine the fourth genre to be tested.
Check out the schedule for upcoming Film Rules films to be reviewed.
Also a question for the comments...  Do people prefer the alternating between 2 sets of rules or would they like to see one set finished before the next starts?

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