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By Tom Meek | February 8, 1999

In this romantic comedy, Sarah Michelle Gellar (a.k.a. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) has the magical ability to whip up mood food — ala “Like Water for Chocolate.” Her Amanda is a downtrodden chef in a dumpy little bistro with a nonexistent love life and to make matters worse, the restaurant is on the brink of financial ruin. How and why she ascertains her supernatural skill set is sketchy, though she’s oddly aided by an impish cabbie and brings home a stoic crab that refuses to end up in the pot. And it’s also courtesy of the pugnacious crab that she meets Mr. Right (after the crab assaults him) in the form of Tom (Sean Patrick Flannery looking like a maniacal Michæl J. Fox with a George Hamilton tan and a botched hair cut, worse than Kevin Costner’s in “The Bodyguard”), the dreamy owner of a chic, midtown eatery. But things don’t click until Tom digs into some of Amanda’s culinary delights.
Other players also indulge in some of Amanda’s pastries and end up “doing it” in the elevator, but there’s no magic here. “Simply Irresistible” tosses a lot of sure-to-please cinematic spices (witchcraft, sex, romance and slapstick) into the kettle but what comes out is insipid, maudlin mush. Though the most perplexing element of the film is the bizarre score, which can only be described as a blend of elevator music and background music from bad, 70’s TV melodramas. In short “Simply Irresistible” is easy to resist.

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