Call it Buffy the Culinary Slayer. Sarah Michelle Gellar, who usually runs around staking vampires and fighting demons, turns cute and cuddly as an aspiring chef in this magical-realist comedy that borrows a page--heck, wh... more »ole chapters--from Like Water for Chocolate. Out at the market one day, Gellar stumbles on both a magical crab and the babelicious Sean Patrick Flanery who, wouldn't you know it, is opening up a posh restaurant at Bendel's department store (actually, the two have been brought together by fairy godfather Christopher Durang). Odd and implausible circumstances give these two cuties more opportunities to moon at each other, and suddenly Gellar's cooking takes off--turns out all her nicey-nice feelings towards Flanery are going into her cooking, with the help of that quiet but powerful little crab. Gellar's almost-closed restaurant starts to thrive, and her desserts begin making everyone horny. A cute premise that never really takes off, Simply Irresistible glides along on Gellar's charisma alone; in her off hours, Buffy certainly can be the lighthearted girl next door, and Gellar works to give some depth to her one-dimensional character. Flanery, though, while appealing at times, plays up his character's commitment-phobia to irritating degrees. Chock full of fairy-tale elements that never really come together (is that crab really necessary?), Irresistible does boast charming performances by Patricia Clarkson and Dylan Baker as Flanery's secretary and boss, respectively. However, it's a little odd to see these two, who scored raves for two serious and harrowing art-house flicks (Clarkson in High Art, Baker in Happiness) doing the light-and-fluffy romantic comedy thing. They're two of the very few ingredients that occasionally make this soufflé of a movie rise; at the end, however, it's flat as a pancake. --Mark Englehart« less
"First of all let me say I am a HUGE Sarah fan, and this film has gotten bad reviews from alot of people. This is not a film for you if you are looking for action, if you are, don't get this, because you won't like it. If you like romantic dramas, you will definetly like this. This movie wasn't made expecting EVERYONE to fall head over heels in love with it, it was made for people who enjoy films like this. Sarah plays a young girl who has no parents, and she lives by herself, and she runs her mom's resturaunt with her aunt. When the resturaunt may have to close because rent can't be kept up, somehow, Sarah's character starts to make delicious, delectable, irrisistible food that everyone falls in love with. She meets this guy who is opening a resturaunt, and the film just flows out from there. It's a great film, and it's great for those who want to watch a good movie with their girlfriend or boyfriend or for someone who just wants a good Saturday night movie to chill and watch. Sarah Michelle Gellar gives an amazing performance as usual, and you will not be dissapointed."
Gary | Dillon, SC | 07/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Simply Irresistible may not have done well in the box office, but that certainly doesn't mean that this film doesn't have any charm. Just because a movie doesn't find a proper following doesn't make it any less charming, in my opinion. Simply Irresistible is one of the best movies I've seen that hasn't had much viewership. It's fun, sweet, romantic, and just simply enjoyable all the way through.This movie certainly boasts a top-notch cast that is led by the wonderful and amazing Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flanery. Amanda, played by Sarah Michelle, starts off as an awful chef but almost magically turns into a wonderful one overnight. She then begins falling in love with Tom, played by Sean Patrick, who is the owner of a popular department store. Simply Irresistible tells a wonderful and romantic story of how scary falling in love can truly be and how wonderful it can be all at the same time. If you're in the mood for a light, romantic comedy, then I highly recommend this movie."
A Sweet Little Souffle of a Movie...
Angela D. Mitchell | Hobbiton | 03/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this movie purely on the basis of a pretty charming little rave print review by Roger Ebert,and was glad I did (ended up even buying a copy on VHS for myself). The movie is slight and whimsical -- lots of magic, not a lot of gritty reality -- but it's sweet and strange and has a lot of charm. The characters are daffy and whimsically painted, and don't go the usual hollywood movie route. Gellar is sweet and insecure as the heroine -- a much less glamorous role than her weekly (equally fabulous) vampire slaying Buffy heroine -- while Buckley and Flanery and the fine supporting cast are all enjoyable to watch in the romantic mishaps that ensue. The wonderful Patricia Clarkson meanwhile is so much fun that she steals every scene she's in without detracting a bit from the appeal of her costars -- a pretty good trick (it's worth the price of admission to hear her say, "This is nutty. Hazel-nutty."). I really loved this movie -- started out wondering where it was going, but by the end I didn't care -- the writing is offbeat and fun, not so by the book. The movie's not "Schindler's List" or anything, sure -- it's pretty lightweight -- but it doesn't feel as Hollywood-ish as your usual romantic comedy, and you really never know what the characters will say next. The food also looks glorious and really adds to the sense of whimsy. The soundtrack is as sweet and fun as everything else -- if you need cheering up, or convincing that there's still a bit of Astaire and Rogers in the world, this one's a great choice, where a perfect eclair can create true love, and a wonderful meal can make people weep with delight (and float in the air a time or two)..."
Josh | Sc, Usa | 06/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Simply Irresistible was a great film. I have no idea why it flopped at the box office. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flannery put out great performances as two falling love in a magical way. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Amanda Shelton, a cook who co-owns her mother's restaurant with her aunt. After buying a basket of crabs from a mysterious little man, magic begins to happen. Whatever Amanda's emotions are, the same emotions go into the food she cooks. Simply Irresistible was full of fun dialogue and scenes which came from the actions of some pretty quirky characters. Everyone in Simply Irresistible was lovable. Even Amanda Peet's cameo, in which she played a snobby rich girl, was likable. The best thing about Simply Irresistible has to be its score. When the score is playing, it goes right along with the actions of the characters, right down to their footsteps. It sounded a bit Mary Tyler Moore-ish, but it worked well. Simply Irresistible is a sweet romantic comedy, and shouldn't be missed by anyone."
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 06/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness." ~Elsa Schiaparelli
Sarah Michelle Gellar's softer side appears as she picks up the batterie de cuisine and tackles saving a restaurant from certain death. When it looks like Amanda's career is about to end as a chef, an angel appears in her life and gives her some sage advice about looking for a door that will open when another one closes. As the chef of a failing 70 year-old restaurant, the Southern Cross, she only has her loyal clientele who are not there for the food.
To say she is adorable as a chef is an understatement. She appears in a variety of fashionable outfits and weaves a sweet innocent spell on the viewer. Worth watching to see Sarah dressed up in a variety of outfits and different hairstyles.
There are also scenes of outdoor markets, beautiful orchids and of course restaurant scenes, Sarah shopping, cooking and crawling about on the floor chasing after magical crabs all to romantic music.
Instead of slaying vampires, "Buffy" bewitches Tom Bartlett (Sean Patrick Flanery) and entices love right into her life through cooking a variety of gourmet dishes. If every man has his weakness, Tom's weakness is luscious cuisine.
"She can cook things that make you crazy." ~Tom
As every kitchen sorceress has discovered, the right food can create the right mood and can invite happiness and love into your life. I loved the dance scene and the scene where Tom and Amanda disappear into the scented mist. This movie emphasizes the aphrodisiac qualities of food.
Amanda Shelton (Sarah) only discovers her true cooking talents after meeting Tom. At first she seems unaware of her current fate while Tom seems to be trying to control his fate. He is disturbed by his lack of emotional control and when he falls "in love" with Amanda, his world seems to be spinning out of control.
"My whole life was ordinary and then we met and these amazing things started to happen." ~Amanda
Is it love that makes Amanda a better cook and makes her cooking taste even better to Tom? Are their senses in a state of heightened awareness from the chemicals rushing through their bodies or is there magic floating about? Once she finds a recipe for caramel éclairs, Tom is even more attracted to her.
There are very few movies about cooking or chefs so this one is a treat. Tear drops in the food reminded me of Like Water for Chocolate. The emotions Amanda feels are somehow magically mixed into the food she is cooking. Either the dishes make people cry, stun them or make them lose their inhibitions. She seems to have a magical gift for culinary creations that have an effect on anyone who consumes them.
Is the orchid plant in this movie the "Oncidium Sharry Baby?" It did look similar, although I can't say for sure. Some people say it has a fruity vanilla scent and not really a chocolate scent. Most types of vanilla do not produce the vanilla beans. If you wanted to cook with flowers, you would want to make sure that the flowers you added to your cooking were edible. Orchid flowers are apparently edible.
Vanilla beans are the cigar-shaped seed pods from a climbing orchid and the pods must be picked, boiled and heated in the sun. It literally takes months to produce the delicious vanilla flavor. It actually takes 100 beans to make 1 gallon of vanilla extract. If you love vanilla extract, you might also enjoy: Fiori di Sicilia flavoring for your baking.
After watching this movie you may want to feed your lover oranges, invest in some expensive vanilla extract, get lost in a kiss or cook up some bliss. If you are looking for the best vanilla for your cooking, Bourbon-Madagascar vanilla is superior.
Deliciously cute, silly spells, sweet innocent love and a few hot and steamy kissing scenes in the kitchen. For romantics and lovers of kitchens and cuisine. Almost a culinary Cinderella story.
You might enjoy these books:
The Seduction Cookbook by Diane Brown (Baked Salmon with Raspberry Cabernet Sauce, ideas for late night seduction snacks and information on growing an erotic herb garden.)
A Passionfruit Cookbook by Patrick Jesse Pons-Worley (The flavor of passion fruit is so seductive and exotic.)
Written with a Spoon (Poetry and Recipes)
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids by Alec Pridgeon
The Edible Flower Garden by Rosalind Creasy
InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook (The "Fig Pastries" are decadent and naughty.)
Crab Cooking: Famous Recipes from Famous Places by Joyce Lafray
Movies with Food Themes:
Babette's Feast Like Water for Chocolate Scent of Green Papaya My Big Fat Greek Wedding Big Night
~The Rebecca Review
P.S. If you need a recipe for the caramel iced éclairs to entice someone with see the comments section for the link."