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Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is the owner/chef of a restaurant she inherited from her mother. While her cooking skills leave much to be desired, she is a woman who isn't afraid to show her emotions. Tom Bartlett (Sean Patrick Flanery), is a high-ranking executive at a famous department store whose practical manner has put him on the fast track to success. When Tom visits Amanda's restaurant, she is immediately attracted to him and somehow transfers her feelings into the meal she has prepared; as Tom eats, he sees and tastes her emotions.

"It would be so easy to dismiss this simplistic Hollywood fairy tale as being lightweight romantic nonsense. Maybe it is, and yes, it's not exactly original (think of Like Water for Chocolate). Cynics will find it hard to gobble up this charming tale of romance, food and seduction, and serious-minded critics will find it hard to swallow. But taking it for what it is, Simply Irresistible is a delightful fairy tale, a beautifully made film whose heart is clearly in the right place. It's unashamedly romantic and corny, but there's nothing wrong with odd doses of corn, and here, it works well. It's the kind of film where all traces of cynicism must be left at the door, for this is escapist cinema at its purest level. It's a film about beautiful people wearing exquisite clothes, who float on air and dance in a smoke-filled haze, as they did decades ago. In short, what we have here, is old-fashioned movie making, and there's nothing wrong with that. Director Mark Tarlov has a visual feel for cinema, and so his movie moves along in a sea of rich and vibrant colours. The film's two principals work well together and are both excellent, though it's character actress Patricia Clarkson who steals the film as Tom's assistant. And those who remember Dylan Baker as the paedophile in Happiness, will see a different side of the actor here. The film looks gorgeous, featuring a soft pop soundtrack that isn't too obtrusive, and it has an elegance to it we rarely see in today's films. Sure it's not for everyone, but there's no doubt that this is the perfect date movie, an unpretentious feel-good film that is, dare I say it, totally irresistible and deliciously engaging."
Paul Fischer

"It continues to amaze this reviewer how deep Hollywood will sink. This shameless rip-off of Like Water For Chocolate is so dumbed-down for the teenage masses that you are able to completely shut down all but the brain stem and still have a full and well-rounded understanding of this film. So few and far between are the plot twists and so well-explained by clunky, silly dialogue that one does not need to actually engage thought. The film never fails to be completely and utterly transparent at every stage and is so tedious I counted the lights on the cinema ceiling and eavesdropped on the mobile phone conversation being carried out in front of me. The film is so completely devoid of originality, wit or sparkle that it's difficult to find anything to commend it. Sarah Michelle Gellar is dull and lifeless, Sean Patrick Leonard is a carbon copy of Chandler from Friends and the supporting cast are either hammy or unnoticeable. Not even the soundtrack saves this awful film from the depths of abject stupidity. Sarah Michelle Gellar fans only."
Peter Anderson

"Unexpectedly charming were the first words that entered my mind after viewing Sarah Michelle Geller's new romantic novelty, a film that is, pretty much, irresistible. It would be pretentious to consider any of this film's elements as fresh or original, but they certainly feel that way thanks to Geller's appealing performance and Mark Tarlov's debut direction. Surprisingly, the film comes together really well. The central romance is a nice blend of passion and fun, with a little touch of magic thrown in for good measure. Simply Irresistible is film colored by bright and adorable performances, and shaped by a screenplay that never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously. It's an enjoyable picture that leaves a sweet, sentimental aftertaste. It restores faith that in life there is a little bit of magic that, like love, doesn't always make a lot of sense. Neither does this film, I suppose, but you won't hear me complaining."
Luke Buckmaster, Teen Critic

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Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0




CAST: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sean Patrick Flanery, Patricia Clarkson, Dylan Baker, Christopher Durang

DIRECTOR: Mark Tarlov

PRODUCER: Jon Amiel, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr, John Fiedler

SCRIPT: Judith Roberts, Elisabeth Robinson


EDITOR: Paul Karasick

MUSIC: Gil Goldstein

PRODUCTION DESIGN: William Barclay, John Kasarda

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes



VIDEO RELEASE: December 22, 1999


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