This is, according to some, an Americanized-version of Like Water For Chocolate, as if that were necessary. But whereas LWFC was a heartwarming romantic comedy, Simply Irresistible is a heartstring-tugging romantic something. It has the feel of one of the rare made-for-TV movies that’s actually a comedy, or at least attempts to be. The kind of thing you might catch on Lifetime between Tourette’s syndrome love stories.
Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is in jeopardy of foreclosure on the Tribeca restaurant that has been passed down through her family for the last 70 years. The angelic Gene O’Reilly (playwright Christopher Durang slumming) bumps into her at the farmer’s market and guides her in the direction of her destiny. Which, in this case, is becoming a magical chef whose emotional state affects those who eat her cuisine by eliciting the same emotional state. Her destiny also includes falling in love with Tom Bartlett (Sean Patrick Flanery), a department store executive branching into restauranteering, who thinks Amanda is a witch.
There is also a crab -- apparently a crab from Heaven -- that watches everything Amanda does, ostensibly to keep her on target. But really, what can a crab do if things get out of control? Especially a crab that doesn’t talk. And, if you leave shellfish out for even a couple of hours, it starts to get rank. This crab was out for over a week. P-U.
And speaking of P-U, the score from Gil Goldstein is outstandingly saccharine.
Sarah Michelle Gellar was also in Cruel Intentions, released at about the same time. Cruel Intentions is much better than this.