An airy romance in the tradition of classic Hollywood comedies of the Depression Era, Simply Irresistible (1999) also presses into service the food-obsessed magical realism of Like Water for Chocolate (1992). Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as Amanda Shelton, the chef at Southern Cross, a trendy Tribeca restaurant she inherited from her legendary mother. Not the most inspired of culinary artists, Amanda is running the establishment into the ground, until a cab-driving, Cupid-like guardian angel (playwright Christopher Durang) intervenes with a magical crab that puts Amanda in the path of slick spin master Tom Bartlett (Sean Patrick Flanery). Tom is opening a restaurant for his boss Jonathan Bendel (Dylan Baker), who wants to assure the eatery is no less than a four-star affair, but the temperamental French chef is giving fits to Bartlett and his secretary Lois (Patricia Clarkson). Enter Amanda, who falls head over heels for Tom, love suddenly bestowing upon her the gift of infusing her dishes with powerful amorous emotions that overwhelm diners with a rapturous ecstasy.