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A department store executive (Flanery) tries to resist falling in love with a young woman (Gellar), who he believes has possessed magical powers after inheriting a restaurant. Written by
A modern take on the 1930's style of screwball comedy
This is a charming film, very well acted and with great production values. But, like the screwball comedies of the thirties, and the musicals of Fred Astaire, it isn't for everyone. Of course, a romantic comedy which is based on the magical ability of a crab to inspire Gellar to feats of culinary greatness is a premise which might be hard for some to swallow. But I think its worth the effort, and it's no dafter than many successful comedy of earlier days. For those who follow such things there are three great references to the films of Fred Astaire. First is when Flannery is choosing the floor design for his new restaurant. The wavy black and white design is straight out of Yolanda and the Thief (1946 MGM) where, in a number called Coffee Time, Fred Astaire and Lucille Bremer dance on a huge floor of exactly this design. As if to hammer it home Flannery's boss reacts by saying " it looks like something out of an MGM musical". Reference number two is to The Belle of New York (1952 MGM) where Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen kiss and float up to the ceiling. This is directly quoted in a kitchen scene where, under the influence of the crab, Gellar and Flannery kiss and float to the ceiling. These references are interesting because both films have fantasy/magical themes and both are somewhat looked down on in Astaire's oeuvre. The third reference is to Shall We Dance (1937 RKO)where in the Gershwin number of the same name Fred Astaire is confronted with a long line of Ginger Rodgers masked look-alikes. In Simply Irresistable Gellar appears reflected in a long line of mirrors with Flannery temporarily confused as to where she is, with both of them standing in a set that seems right out of Van Nest Polglase's Art Deco creations for RKO. Here the reference seems to be to the magician's art of illusion. Anyhow, after all that, you should have a feel for whether this film is for you.
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