Caramel Reviews

  • The kvetches of regulars at a cheery Beirut beauty salon couldn't be more familiar -- and that's the slender charm of Caramel, a Lebanese variation on sweetly soapy dramas about Women Who Bond With Wet Hair.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • In the Beirut beauty salon where most of Caramel takes place, women of various shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds gather to bond and gossip.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • A sweeter and more believable version of Steel Magnolias, Middle Eastern style.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Filmgoers expecting My Big Fat Lebanese Waxing are in for a bigger treat: Nadine Labaki, who wrote and directed the film, possesses an astute instinct for restraint that makes Caramel smarter ans more poignantthan the average chick flick.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • In a culture where female sexuality is problematic at best, how is a woman supposed to feed both body and heart? Through makeovers, support, and necessary lies, Caramel curtly answers.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Don't expect an elegant, fully realized production. Do expect, though, to be touched and surprised by a string of intimate, urgent vignettes.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Its chief focus is the bonding between women who rely on each for support, and who really appreciate a place where they can let down their hair.

    Joe Leydon — Houston Chronicle

  • Perceptive and poignant, Caramel observes the love lives of the establishment's owner, her employees and their customers.

    Bill Stamets — Chicago Sun-Times

  • There's a pleasant, easygoing charm to Caramel, largely stemming from Labaki's rare determination to depict Beirut as something other than a war-torn, slowly recovering battleground.

    Tasha Robinson — Chicago Tribune

  • Labaki elicits expressive performances from a cast of amateurs, aided by Khalad Mouzanar's entrancing score and Yves Sehnaoui's lush cinematography.

    Andrea Gronvall — Chicago Reader

  • Set in a culture caught between East and West, between male chauvinism and female empowerment, Labaki's movie isn't about to revolutionize a genre -- its charms are modest, but many.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Caramel is a bittersweet treat.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • One of those small films that give a glimpse into a culture that's both foreign and familiar. It's filled with real-life touches and small insights and wonderfully human characters, and the whole thing feels as real as crossing the street.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • A sweet affair, hiding any bitter undertones under a sprightly, glistening exterior.

    Jay Weissberg — Variety

  • Uneven, fluctuating between poignancy...and fluff.

    V.A. Musetto — New York Post

  • [Writer-Director] Labaki writes and directs with a sure hand for capturing universal truths.

    Susan Walker — Toronto Star

  • As sugary as it may be, Caramel has a likeable edge to it, both in the natural performances of the mostly non-professional cast and the script's sardonic bluntness about social hypocrisies and the women's self-deception.

    Liam Lacey — Globe and Mail

  • It's a warm midwinter treat.

    Andrew O'Hehir — Salon.com

  • It's refreshing for a romantic comedy not to follow the formula by rote. I only wish I could be as enthusiastic about the amount of screen time accorded to certain characters who are more tedious than endearing.

    James Berardinelli — ReelViews

  • Warm-hearted and accessible.

    John DeFore — Hollywood Reporter

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