Jan 16, 2001
Chocolat is a textbook example of the "traveling angel" story form that I talk about in the Comedy Class. It also shows us the dangers of following the textbook so rigidly you suck all the life out of the story. This writer hits every technique found in traveling angel films like Mary Poppins, including the "angel's" arrival on a strong wind that changes the town forever.
This story does add an element rarely found in traveling angel stories, which is that the angel has a ghost and weaknes of her own. But this form is about bringing magic, style and fun into restricted lives, so the worst thing you can do is make one of these stories predictable. Unfotunately this one is.
A useful lesson when doing any genre story: Hit the beats but do them in a twisted and original way.