What lost movie would you like to get a new physical media release? For one writer, it involves Sarah Michelle Gellar and a magical crab.
This outlet is a big promoter of physical media, and it’s got me thinking about the gaps in my own collection. Back in the early 2010s with the Zavvi boom and multiple HMV closures, I was a huge DVD collector. Before that, I spent Sunday mornings waking up at 4am to accompany my dad to car boot sales where I would spend hours delving through random bags and boxes of VHS tapes, discovering classics, childhood favourites and hidden gems.
Over the last few years due to many house moves, my collection has been reduced time and again but being stuck at home this last year with no cinema, I’ve been returning to old comfort watches and sourcing more films on disc due to their lack of streaming availability. Why pay £5.99 to rent for a night when I can grab a second-hand Blu-ray for £1.50? When I did my 31 favourite films for my 31st birthday, there was one that eluded me and still does almost a year on.
Of all the films I’m desperate to see re-released on physical media, it’s embarrassing to say it’s the one where Sarah Michelle Gellar gains witch powers from a magical crab. Yes, I’m talking the ridiculously cheesy and charming Simply Irresistible.
In this one, Gellar plays a hard on her luck chef. Struggling to keep her late mother’s restaurant running (she’s not a very good cook) a mysterious market tender sells her some crabs and one escapes. She somehow gains magical powers from this and is able to put her emotions when cooking into the meal, so those eating will be overcome with the same feelings. She meets a department store manager who is trying to open his own restaurant and the pair fall for each other, but he’s scared of her potential witch powers.
It’s ridiculous and I couldn’t help falling in love with it but unfortunately, not everyone did. The film currently sits at a 16% critics score and 54% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes so it’s not a surprise it feels lost to time. I owned it on VHS as a teenager and it got frequent rewatches, there was something so charming and bewitching about the old fashioned romance and a wonderful smoke-filled dance sequence that I loved returning to. But along the way, my VHS disappeared and I always assumed I could replace it.
Multiple Google hunts have let me know a Blu-ray version of the film was released in America in 2013 and there are some region 2 copies languishing on eBay, but I haven’t taken the gamble yet. But for all intents and purposes, the film seems to have been deleted from public consciousness. Maybe I just have terrible taste, or maybe just like the crab, the film was just a small piece of magic gifted to me for a short time. For now, I’ll have to make do with a digital copy of the film but if anyone out there has a magical copy and wants to send it over, let me know.
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