Some actors become household names, and some fade into the background. Nonetheless, any time you re-watch a favorite film, there’s a wave of nostalgia, and an inevitable wondering, “Whatever happened to …?” This week, we follow up with the women of the 1999 film Better Than Chocolate.
Karyn Dwyer (Maggie, the newly out 19-year-old)
The redhead has worked steadily in Canadian TV, but in the last year has worked on two web series including First World Problems and Rose Bud’s Guide to Seduction. You can also follow her on Twitter for updates on both projects, as well as anything else she’s up to.
Christina Cox (Kim, the transient butch)
Most of us know at least one post-BTC project Christina has done, but some of her best include 3 Way, Blood Ties and Defying Gravity. She’s currently playing a lesbian military officer on Combat Hospital and has completed a new made-for-TV movie called Virtual Lies. She’s also on Twitter: @reallychristina.
Ann-Marie MacDonald (Frances, the neurotic LGBT bookstore owner)
Besides a brief two-episode appearance on The L Word (including a memorable discussion with Bette on “the ultimate patriot act”), Ann-Marie has mostly stuck to theater and writing novels. Her book, Fall On Your Knees, was an official Oprah Book Club selection in 2002. She’s married to playwright Alisa Palmer, who is currently working on a musical theater production of Lord of the Rings.
Mayra Delver (Carla, the bisexual sexpot)
Almost completely unrecognizable with a much lighter ‘do, Mayra has starred on Sons of Anarchy for the last couple of years as Officer Candy Eglee. She was also part of the 2001 TV series Leap Years, an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation and a few short films.
Anne Wheeler (director)
The out writer/filmmaker has worked largely on Canadian television series like Da Vinci’s Inquest, This is Wonderland, Cra$h & Burn and Endgame, but she also worked on a film called Knockout starring Stone Cold Steve Austin. She certainly can’t be boxed in!
Peggy Thompson (writer)
Peggy went on to executive produce the 2007 doc The World’s Oldest Basketball Team and the 2003 feature Saint Monica. She has taught screenwriting as an associate professor at the University of British Columbia and written for Canadian TV series like Big Sound and Weird Homes.
Better Than Chocolate has become sort of a rite-of-passage film for lesbians of Generations X and Y. The film was political, funny, sexy and poignant with an Ani Difranco-laden soundtrack. For so many young women, Maggie was living out a dream: Quitting school to work in a LGBT bookstore, partying the nights away at the local gay bar and encountering all kinds of queer characters on a daily basis, including the hot new butch in town. Unfortunately, she also has to deal with homophobes and coming out to her mother, which was something viewers could surely identify with.
The film also marked the end of an era, of sorts. The lesbian magazines shown on the racks of the Ten Percent Bookstore are now defunct, customs can no longer hold up LGBT book titles without a huge uproar and hate crimes aren’t as easily ignored. And that scene where Maggie and Kim are kicked out of the coffee shop for attempting to kiss and hold hands? You better believe someone would fight back today — at least, I hope they would.
How does Better Than Chocolate hold up for you? Did you know what happened to any of the stars, besides Christina Cox?