Cocoa (2023)

Cocoa (2023)

If you can enjoy it for what it is—a squeaky clean TV movie that’s as much for kids as it is for adults—then Cocoa can be harmless good fun



Cedric Gegel, Jody Mortara, Megan McGarvey
94 min


This live-action movie, which is filled with adults who act like kids, is whatever the opposite of an “adult cartoon” is.

What it's about

When sisters Faith (Jody Mortara) and Hope (Megan McGarvey) cook up a groundbreaking recipe for chocolate cake that makes you lose weight, they must sell and patent their invention before money-hungry crooks beat them to it.

The take

You should know from the get-go that Cocoa is a wild farce that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should you. The mafia, a wild scientist, and a giant clumsy dog somehow weave themselves into what initially seems to be just a story of two sisters selling pastries and bonding along the way. It goes in for multiple twists and turns, which on paper, sounds like a fun ride, but shoddy production value can only get you so far. After a few chuckles, the poor direction, elementary acting, and stilted editing all catch up on you, and Cocoa soon becomes the kind of movie you have to sit through and endure rather than breeze through. It’s great to put on if you have undiscerning kids around, but otherwise, this TV movie just doesn’t cut it. 

What stands out

For reasons I won’t spoil, a Louis Vuitton luggage plays an essential role in the movie. Faith and Hope make a great show about how it costs money they don’t have, and after all the fuss, the movie cuts to the cheapest-looking non-LV bag to exist. It doesn’t even have the logos! This is very trivial, but until now, I can’t stop wondering why they couldn’t just loan the real thing, create a replica, or simply not name-drop the brand. I can’t decide whether this is a genius camp move or a stupid one, but either way, it worked—I can’t stop thinking about it. 

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