Welcome to the Ending Explained for Irresistible, a psychological drama written and directed by Ann Turner, an Australian director who has mainly focused on directing and writing TV movies in her native Australia. Irresistible stars Susan Sarandon, Sam Neil, and Emily Blunt, in one of her first roles, right after her breakthrough role in The Devil Wears Prada. The film tells the story of an illustrator who needs to balance her work and family life as she is on the eve of a very important deadline. However, when strange things happen around her, she will confuse illusion with reality.
Irresistible is a very bizarre film. You can really feel that Ann Turner is doing her best to come up with a thriller that feels suspenseful and mysterious, but most of her creative choices come across as awkward. The dialogue hits you in the face with information that should be more than clear to the audience, and some other times, the revelations are made so strangely that they only generate confusion. The direction is also rather poor, and in the end, the movie ends up feeling like it was meant to be a TV movie all the way through. Thankfully, the movie has three wonderful actors in the main roles, so the awkwardness of the rest of the movie becomes somehow passable.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Irresistible. Read at your own risk.
Is someone getting in Sophie’s house without her permission?
The film begins with the introduction of our main character, Sophie. She is the mother of two young girls, Ruby and Ellie. She is a famous illustrator who is very well-regarded in the art world. So much so that there are profiles made about her in magazines. She is currently making illustrations for a children’s book but has been having problems finishing the task. The publisher is constantly calling about her progress, and she assures them that the work will be ready in time. The film begins with Sophie picking up her girls from school and going home, where she finishes the first illustration in the series.
However, there is something strange happening around the house. We see doors opening by themselves and strange noises coming out of strange places. Sophie feels them too, but she never sees if someone is in the house. Her youngest, Ellie, sees someone at some point, but Sophie dismisses it as something else she saw. Sophie is married to Craig, a real estate developer, and they have a very nice relationship together. However, it seems like Sophie hasn’t been the same as of late, she barely sleeps, making her commit strange mistakes here and there, like leaving the iron on while going out. Sophie thanks Craig for turning the iron off, but he says he never went home that day.
We learn that Craig is working with a woman named Mara. She is young and beautiful, and Craig cannot help but admire her beauty. However, he never goes into the cheating territory, at least not now. When Sophie meets Mara at a party, they wear the same dress and are both embarrassed. They get to know each other. Apparently, Craig talks a lot about Sophie with Mara. We learn that Sophie’s mother died recently, and she was Sophie’s best friend. Mara reveals her loss as well. Her best friend, Kate, died in Kosovo while helping kids get with their families during the war. Kate died in an attack, and Mara feels terrible about it.
Sophie cannot help but feel uneasy around Mara, she is way younger than her, and she suspects that Craig wants her, it would be obvious. More strange things keep happening around the house, and even one of Sophie’s neighbors reports seeing her going in and out of the house in a different dress. Sophie becomes more and more confused. She doesn’t know what to believe. It could be that her memory is playing her bad tricks, or someone is really going in and out of her house. She changes the locks, but this doesn’t stop the strange things from happening. Once, she is attacked by tons of bees inside a cooking jar in her house and sent to the hospital.
Is Mara trying to get Sophie’s husband?
At the hospital, Sophie begins to suspect something is happening with Mara. She thinks the young woman is out to get her and is probably looking to take Craig from her. Sophie becomes paranoid, even when she goes back home. There, she starts following Mara around in her day-to-day life, and she learns that Mara seems to be obsessed with owls, just like Sophie is. She follows Mara to the cemetery, where she sees her crying over Kate’s tomb, and she also follows her to a museum where Kate is having a photography exposition about Kate and her work with orphans in Kosovo. Mara sees Sophie in the museum, but Sophie escapes.
Sophie keeps investigating, and this time she manages to go inside Mara’s house. She looks around Mara’s closet and even goes inside Mara’s daughter’s room. Mara catches her in the act, and then we jump to the court. In court, Mara and her husband present the case of how Sophie has been stalking them and that they don’t feel safe with her around. Sophie does the same, accusing Mara of entering the house, stealing her dresses, and even placing the bees in the cookie jar. The judge dismisses Sophie’s claims as there is no evidence and issues a restraining order.
However, Sophie keeps an eye on Mara. She also confronts Craig about he liking Mara. She asks him to fire her, but he won’t do it. Craig becomes frustrated with Sophie’s increasing paranoia, and when Sophie starts confusing her kids’ names, he thinks he needs to do something. He sends her to a friend’s cottage, where she can rest and work on her illustrations. However, when Sophie realizes Mara is at her house, she returns and makes a scene. Craig and the girls go to the cottage and leave Sophie alone. Sophie is not content with this and decides to go to Mara’s house, where Craig and Mara are working, and the kids are all playing together.
It is here that Sophie discovers the truth about what is happening. In a previous conversation with her father, Sophie reveals she had a daughter when she was very young, but she gave her into adoption. Sophie discovers among some documents that Mara is her daughter, now an adult. Sophie rejected her application for contact years ago, and it seems that Mara is doing all of this in vengeance. They confront each other and start a fight that almost ends up burning the entire house. The movie ends with Craig and Sophie making peace and declaring their love for each other.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Mara and Sophie talk things through. Sophie says she is sorry for leaving Mara behind and promises she will never leave her again. Mara and Sophie embrace, and when a nurse asks Sophie who she is, she declares that she is Mara’s mother. In the end, while going through a photo album, we see photos of Kate and Mara as kids. Kate looked very much like Ellie, which means that Kate was Sophie’s real daughter, but now Mara has taken her place.