Much of the praise received by "Better Than Chocolate" was for Dwyer's performance. She was praised for her "charm", "effervescence" and "ability to light up the screen". The Hollywood Reporter called Dwyer "the film's heart and soul" raving "(Dwyer is) terrific, lending the goings on a heated, poignant credibility." Her ability to communicate the joy of sex, prompted Internet voters to rate her lesbian love scenes the hottest ever. "Better Than Chocolate " ranked 31 on The Hollywood Reporter's list of best independent films that year. It won numerous awards and earned Karyn a loyal cult following when it became one of Canada's highest grossing English speaking movies of all time, with a 30 million dollar international box office, according to The Cannes Film Festival website. Young lesbians the world over both idolized and identified with Dwyer. Internet voters loved her performance in the stunningly memorable erotic body painting sequence, rating her lesbian love scenes the hottest ever. The Chicago Tribune raved, "The highlight of the movie is unquestionably Dwyer's performance as Maggie. She brings a sexy intelligence to the role of a floating 19 year old trying to find a place to land that keeps us rooting for her…It may well be that Better Than Chocolate will be remembered as the film that kick starts her career."
Dwyer immediately followed it up with a big budget American comedy, Lorne Michael's Superstar. In it she as a mean cheerleader opposite Molly Shannon and Will Ferrell. But then tragedy struck. The oldest of five siblings, Dwyer had already lost her father to cancer when she was 10. Now, her brother tragically passed away. She then spent the next three years advocating programs to fight her brother's illness. Later this petite feisty redhead went on to portray a diverse arrary of roles, both large and small, in film, television and theatre.