Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 21
  2. Negative: 11 out of 21
Watch On
  1. 75
    Old-fashioned and obvious, yes, like a featherweight comedy from the 1950s. But that's the charm.
  2. Reviewed by: Justine Elias
    Scores points for oddball charm.
  3. 63
    Falls prey to the all-too-contemporary problem of complicating the tale until the ending is not only obvious, but prayed for between yawns. [9 February 1999, Tempo, p.2]
  4. Both actors seem too callow and shallow to actually feel all those emotional raptures they are supposedly experiencing. This is a problem exacerbated by the talent of the supporting cast.
  5. 63
    The result is sometimes enchanting, but, more often than not, it's frustrating, because the disparate elements of the plot never quite gel.
  6. It's a movie, a goofy little movie. Not so bad, but as far as food and sensuality go, ``Like Water for Chocolate'' still has the edge.
  7. Reviewed by: Jane Ganahl
    A gooey-sweet, beautifully photographed romantic fantasy…It's also -- at the risk of sounding like a Grinch -- a mess.
  8. 50
    This culinary fantasy is mildly inspired.
  9. It is a measure of the shortcomings of this genial, well-meaning but ultimately unenchanting film that scene after scene is stolen by the second bananas.
  10. 40
    Though glossy and smoothly directed, this limp concoction has all the sparkle of flat champagne.
  11. When the enchanted crab is the most appealing character in a movie, you know you're in some serious metaphoric hot water.
  12. A tuneless variation on the working girl-captivates-Mr. Big formula that has propelled fairy tales as old as Cinderella.
  13. 25
    The premise was a yummy one in the Mexican hit "Like Water for Chocolate," but it's best to pack Tums in case of heartburn this time around. [5 February 1999, Life, p.11E]
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Much like a botched souffle that fails to rise, Simply Irresistible is a bland confection that remains doggedly earthbound while attempting flights of romantic fantasy.
  15. Reviewed by: Tom Meek
    Insipid, maudlin mush.
  16. The two leads are unappealing, the story is dragged on for days and the rather random magical element renders any human factor irrelevant..
  17. 20
    Eminently resistible, an unclassifiable cinematic leftover best left untasted.
  18. 20
    A betrayal of all things Buffy, not to mention a complete waste of Gellar’s strengths as a young actress. Even the most hardcore of her fans would do well to give it a miss.
  19. The dialogue is fast but bad, the acting is loud but awful and the morality is chaste but unromantic. As for the food, it looks vulgar.
  20. 0
    Somehow both formulaic and bat-shit insane. It's sort of a given that films in this genre won't be rigorous cerebral exercises, but Simply Irresistible is almost hypnotic in its unyielding stupidity.

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