by Skylaire Alfvegren
Review in a Hurry: Scant blood and graceful werewolves make this the perfect date movie if you're trying to nail a goth babe.
The Bigger Picture: Cinematically, you just can't go wrong with lycanthropy. From An American Werewolf in London to The Howling and Ladyhawke, it's been many a full moon since America offered up any shape-shifters of note. Post-millennium, France took up the slack: Brotherhood of the Wolf, a dreamy, soft-focus medieval fable mucked up by Crouching Tiger-style antics, and 2005's sexy, cerebral Empire of the Wolves.
So, it's about time Hollywood took another bite out of the werewolf mythos, even if it's desperately romantic, nearly bloodless and shares its title with an Elvis Costello album. Mysterious weregirl Vivian (Agnes Bruckner), cloistered amongst her kin in Bucharest, is pursued by the equally mysterious American graphic novelist Aiden (Hugh Dancy), who's there to ink the history of the loup garoux, ignorant of the fact he's chasing their chosen heiress.
Shot on location in Romania and focused on the romance of a supernatural outcast and her forbidden mortal dalliance, Blood and Chocolate may be the werewolf genre's most femme film. Male egos are flexed, but little blood is shed. Even when the pack transmogrifies, they do not become grotesque monsters, but graceful, growling wolves.
With scant eroticism (think G-rated Harlequin novel penned by Anne Rice), the sumptuous, old-world backdrops frame more hand-holding than silver bullet firing. There is fire, there are fights to the death, but the only element the average hetero horror geek will find appealing is Aiden's profession.