February 1, 2007

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Blood & Chocolate (PG-13)
Contrary to what Underworld told us, werewolves canít turn humans into new werewolves, they just periodically hunt them for sport, as we learn in Blood & Chocolate, a mopey little goth action movie about how even if your family is totally pushing you to be queen of the werewolves or whatever, you should, like, follow your dream.

Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) has a dream ó itís to make chocolate and run, run like a happy puppy, through the jogging trails of Bucharest. But her people donít understand her dream at all. Her people, who are all werewolves, include Aunt Astrid (Katja Riemann), former werewolf queen; cousin Rafe (Bryan Dick), a wienerhead who one day hopes to be king of the werewolves and letís-hope-not-a-blood-relative Gabriel (Oliver Martinez), the king of the werewolves who, as a job perk, gets a new wife every seven years. And guess who the lucky girl will be for the next seven years!

Vivian, however, is not so delighted about marrying her former uncle and wants a different life, one the more closely mirrors her idyllic childhood in the woods of Colorado, only without the dead parents and the incinerated house. She wants all this even more when she meets Aiden (Hugh Dancy), a brooding graphic artist who is planning to write a new novel about the legend of the wolves, which are not scary to him but sacred and mythic and evocative of, I donít know, sacred mythic Eastern European things. Vivian can indeed see the giant, screaming, neon ďThis Boy Is TroubleĒ sign over Aidenís head but agrees to date him anyway. Her family, however, is not so keen on the idea of her hanging out with a boy who knows so much about werewolves. Soon, Aiden and Vivian must decide whether they will give in to the threats of the werepack or attempt to escape their fangy clutches, together.

Sadly, there is no romantic montage set to an Evanescence song in this movie. There are, however, plenty of scenes set to knockoff moody music, plenty flapping black coats as people emerge from the shadows or leap down from a roof top perch, plenty of talk about ďdestiny.Ē Will 14-year-olds whose parents ďjust donít understand me, momĒ find solace in this tale of seemingly doomed love? Or will even they find themselves fiddling with their cellphones when Bruckner throws out the umpteenth dramatic sigh coupled with the frowny-face-scrunch that lets us know that life is just so, like, unfair?

Blood & Chocolate always got laughs with its trailer (the appearance of the absurd title brought on the giggles every time) and has a few unintentional laughs throughout the movie. But even the comedy that is self-serious gothy angst isnít strong enough to hold your interest throughout the film. Thatís right, Blood & Chocolate is too silly to even laugh at. C-