Simply Irresistible

The spirit of classic MGM romantic comedies hangs heavily over this resolutely unmagical picture. Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar) cooks in the shadow of her late mother, a divinely inspired chef who made the family restaurant, Southern Cross, a neighborhood institution. But Amanda's lackluster concoctions are running the joint into the ground. Enter...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

The spirit of classic MGM romantic comedies hangs heavily over this resolutely unmagical picture. Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar) cooks in the shadow of her late mother, a divinely inspired chef who made the family restaurant, Southern

Cross, a neighborhood institution. But Amanda's lackluster concoctions are running the joint into the ground. Enter her guardian angel (Christopher Durang), who appears at a produce market and presses a basket of crabs on Amanda. One of them, you see, is a magic crab, and next thing she

knows Amanda has fallen for a sleek, supercilious marketing type named Tom Bartlett (Sean Patrick Flanery), who's flacking for the chichi, soon-to-open Jonathan's at Henri Bendel. Love inspires Amanda in the kitchen: Suddenly she's whipping up heavenly entrees and deserts so delicious they drive

people into an erotic frenzy. So why is Tom resisting her charms so churlishly? It will come as no surprise that Amanda eventually winds up taking over the kitchen at Jonathan's at the last moment, or that her culinary magic makes the new restaurant's gala opening into something very memorable

indeed. Though as attractive, charming and well-dressed as they ought to be, the movie's leads are consistently upstaged by the movie's colorful supporting players. They include HIGH ART's Patricia Clarkson as Tom's chic and sharp-tongued secretary, who has eyes for the starchy big boss (Dylan

Baker) -- what were once the Eve Arden and the Ralph Bellamy roles -- and Larry Gilliard, Jr., who plays Amanda's amiable sous chef and confidant. The notion of a cook's emotions so coloring the food she prepares that all those who eat it are affected seemed magical in LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE;

here it comes off as so much pointless mumbo jumbo. Though glossy and smoothly directed, this limp concoction has all the sparkle of flat champagne.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: The spirit of classic MGM romantic comedies hangs heavily over this resolutely unmagical picture. Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar) cooks in the shadow of her late mother, a divinely inspired chef who made the family restaurant, Southern Cross, a nei… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »