A Walk in the Clouds

Year: 1995
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Alfonso Arau
Producer: David Zucker/Jerry Zucker
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Anthony Quinn, Giancarlo Gianinni, Debra Messing
Alfonso Arau tries to recapture the same magic that made Like Water or Chocolate such a tasty treat, but where that was a feast of warm, life-giving chilli, this is an overcooked meringue, all sugar and with no other flavours or character.

Keanu Reeves is at his most completely hatstand as Paul, a World War Two veteran who comes home to a wife obviously not interested in him. He leaves the city to restart his job as a chocolate salesman and comes across pretty Victoria (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon), who's making her way back to her Mexican family's vineyard with the terrible news that she's carrying her college professor's child.

After they keep running into each other, Paul agrees to pose as her husband for the night, making off in the darkness so as to deflect her father's ire away from her.

But of course these two pretty people - devoid of all spirit and flavour as said meringue - fall in love as Paul is cajoled into staying, finding himself ingratiated further into Victoria's family before the inevitable coming clean.

It's hard to say what's wrong with it. Too oversweet and not enough bite, maybe? Maybe you just really have to be in the mood for it, this is real bodice-ripper stuff. Nobody's really slumming it, it's just that the script is so pedestrian, and no amount of the same sumptuous visual Arau bought to Like Water for Chocolate can salvage it.

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