Admittedly, I'm one of those women who abhors the term "chick flick," though more because I find it an insult to the men in my life than to my fellow chicks. The mere existence of the term implies a film that "manly men" would only go to see if their wives or girlfriends drag them to it, because they couldn't possibly, all on their own, want to see a film about the relationships between women (unless, of course, there are some hot pillow fights or sex scenes involving the fairer sex). Caramel, directed by and starring Nadine Labaki, is a Lebanese version of the chick flick, but most of the men I know would enjoy it just as much as I did.

Set in and around a Beirut beauty salon, the film follows the lives of five women, each going through her own personal struggles. Layale (played by Labaki -- and I'll add here that she has a pair of the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen onscreen) is caught in a go-nowhere affair with a married man who has no interest in leaving his wife for her; he honks his horn outside her shop, and Layale comes running. Her friends stoutly disapprove, not so much of her having an extramarital affair, but of the willingness with which she allows her lover to use her. Layale cannot seem to break free of the affair, to the point that she develops an obsession for finding out more about her lover's wife and child, the better to understand the ties that bind him. Meanwhile, a lonely cop pines for Layale from afar.
categories Reviews, Cinematical