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Simply Irresistible movie review

Simply Irresistible -- simply charming

Once upon a time, a spectacular film was one with Busby Berkeley's extravagant Midas touch, not model sfx and digital wizardry.

Simply Irresistible is a fantasy-romance film that aims at giving the audience a good night out. No blood, no gore, no car chases.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, TV's buff vampire slayer takes time out to play the cook in a failing restaurant who, through the intercession of a mysterious Irish short guy and a even more mysterious crab, discovers a literally magic touch.

Movie Poster, Simply irresistible, with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Festivale film reviews; simplyirresistible.jpg - 22239 Bytes
Movie Poster, Simply Irresistible
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The premise is simple -- whatever she feels goes into her cooking, with extraordinary results. When she cries, the customers cry with her, and when she feels erotic, well an enterprising secretary (Patricia Clarkson) get's her man. Simply Irresistible is a film that harks back to the golden oldies movie tradition, making movie magic with a relatively simple story about love and magic.

In Simply Irresistible, magic is a metaphor for change. Gellar persuaded director Mark Tarlov to change the character of Amanda, bringing her own insights to the film. Says Marlov, "She explained that women like it when they are totally disoriented. It doesn't bother them when it feels like they are floating." Gellar's theory is that "Guys are very uncomfortable about falling in love because they can't stand anything they can't figure out. They also need to have everything explained.

One of the best running gags in this film comes from a statistic: that men think about sex about once every six minutes. It probably explains a lot about all sorts of things.

While this film may not qualify as high art, it has charm and humour. Patricia Clarkson, who played the Garbo-esque drug addict in High Art shows another aspect of her range admirably and is a definite highlight. SMG puts in an engaging performance, especially interesting if you, as this reviewer did, see Simply Irresistible back-to-back with Cruel Intentions.

My real gripe with this film is that it breaks the rules of fantasy and fiction which make suspension of disbelief work. Suspension of disbelief is necessary for us to accept the reality of a fictional universe. In the Simply Irresistible universe, everything our heroine feels is transmitted through her cooking. Fine. But the film makers introduce another theory, that metaphors come true (that is, that feeling lighter-than-air become actual flying). The SOD rule of thumb is that you can set one fantasy rule, but the rest of the fictional universe must be consistent. The floating thing distracts from the story.

If you want a fun escapist film, then make a note to see this film. But be warned, this is a food, food, food, film. After a couple of hours with this movie in a darkened cinema, you will want to do as I did and make for the nearest restaurant with a good dessert menu.

I went to the Republique in Bourke St, Melbourne and ate myself comatose. I especially recommend the Creme Brulee. Yum, yum.

Click here to buy films from one of the online stores in Festivale's on-line shopping mallby Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 29 Apr, 1999
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Patricia Clarkson also appears in High Art
Sarah Michelle Gellar also appears in Cruel Intentions

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Just the facts:

Title: Simply Irresistible (1999)
Written by: Judith Roberts
Directed by: Mark Tarlov
Produced by: John Fiedler, Jon Amiel, Joe Caracciolo Jr, Arnon Michan, Elisabeth Robinson
Edited by: Paul Karasick
Director of Photography: Robert Stevens
running time: 96 minutes
rating: PG

The Players: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sean Patrick Flanery, Patricia Clarkson, Dylan Baker, Christopher Durang, Larry Gilliard Jr, Betty Buckley
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Festivale Online Magazine
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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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: Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia : copyright © Festivale 1999 All rights reserved
Filed: 21-Apr-1999 : Last updated: : Last Compiled: 3-Jul-2014
Entire site refreshed: Dec 2008-Feb 2009 | Site URL transferred: Jan 2005 (previously www.festivale.webcentral.com.au)

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