Simply Irresistible - C+
Viewed September 24, 1999 at the Chateau

Given that its original title was Vanilla Fog, it's obvious that Simply Irresistible is an attempt to catch whatever aspect of Like Water for Chocolate that made it such a giant hit. I've never seen Chocolate, so I don't know if Simply Irrestible succeeds in that, but the end result is a weird, off-kilter romance that's not afraid to fall completely flat on its face (which it does several times) with its grand over-the-top gestures. The magical realism is forced[1], and the message of the film boils down to "The way to a man's heart is his stomach." Still, there's something weirdly likable about this film. I don't know whether its Sarah Michelle Gellar's affecting work as Amanda[2], the occasional odd and quirky quip ("She's a wise witch; casts in proverbs."), its goofy anything-goes vibe, or its quaintly old-fashioned qualities.

[1]Exactly how many lingering close-ups of a damn crab does one film need?

[2]Her fellow triplicate costar, Sean Patrick Flannery, on the other hand, is a stiff.