Volume 92, Issue 76
Thursday, February 11, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Simplicity of plot slays irristable love story
Photo by K.C. Bailey
By Sarah Duda
Simply Irresistible is like a meal which contains all of the right ingredients, but for some reason, still doesn't taste very good.
The potential for this romantic comedy to be a perfect Valentine's Day date movie is definitely present. There are the requisite doses of sex, magic, love and expensive restaurants. The presence of these elements, however, is not enough to outweigh the pitfalls and sustain the film as a whole.
Up-and-coming actress Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Amanda Shelton, a young woman trying desperately to keep her restaurant open. Fortunately, a mysterious fairy godfather appears and grants her supernatural cooking powers. The role is not a far stretch for Gellar, whose character on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also familiar with supernatural dilemmas.
Sean Patrick Flanery plays opposite Gellar as an uptight department store executive who is cautious and reserved when it comes to love and dating until he meets Gellar. After tasting one of her magical dishes, the two star crossed lovers fall head over heels in love.
And that's pretty much it. The story which unfolds is not anything a casual viewer couldn't discern from the previews. The only surprising element to the movie is its lack of substantial plot and character development. Unlike any quality romance, there are no obstacles blocking the progression of Gellar and Flanery's love affair. Gellar quickly demonstrates for Flanery that in a relationship, the being in love part is better than the falling in love part.
Thankfully, there are some strengths to the film which somewhat offset its abundance of weaknesses. Perhaps due to the practice Gellar has had playing the character of Buffy, she gives an impressive performance as the girl with a magical touch.
The cinematography is also pleasing to the eye. The sumptuous foods which permeate most scenes, coupled with the classy restaurants and the expensive department store are all decadent to look at. There are some charismatic moments throughout the film which viewers will undoubtedly find memorable. For example, a humourous scene offers girls an answer as to what it means when guys adjust their belts.
First time director Mark Tarlov has tried to create a movie which will appeal to people who loved Breakfast at Tiffany's. Unfortunately, this romantic comedy doesn't come close to being categorized as one of the "classic" tales it tries to emulate. While many scenes manage to create a romantic atmosphere, in the end Simply Irresistible is simply forgettable.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999