If I was a little more in touch with my inner fag-queen, I would employ critical catch-phrases to describe this ever-so “charming” and “light-hearted fable” with “delightful” performances by the “lovely” Juliette Binoche and “sultry” Johnny Depp.

ChocolatBut I tend to repress that person, if not bludgeon him with a pick axe, so I’ll just say that Chocolat is a middle-American crowd pleaser maybe rising to the level of Hallmark’s Made for TV Holiday Magic Series.

Binoche deserves eternal props for her work in Kieslowski’s Colors trilogy, but as a love-inducing candy dispenser cum Mary Poppins in a small French town, she reeks of smelly Provence cheese dipped in Hollywood wax.

Depp is actually fine here, but Binoche is a thinking man’s sex symbol and should be above this kind of shlock. This was a role made for Kansas vanilla queen Julia Roberts, not our sweet and euro-comely Juliette.

Thinky says: Don’t be fooled by the art-house veneer.