A master chef, Kate, lives her life like she runs the kitchen at upscale 22 Bleecker Restaurant in Manhattan--with a no-nonsense intensity that both captivates and intimidates everyone around her. With breathtaking precision, she powers through each hectic shift, coordinating hundreds of meals, preparing delicate sauces, seasoning and simmering each dish to absolute perfection. Written by
Very likable even for a formula romcom, mainly because of the terrific casting
Very likable even for a formula romcom, mainly because of the terrific casting and performances of the actors.
The forever beautiful and talented Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago, The Mask of Zorro) is spot on as Kate, a workaholic chef at hoity toity 22 Bleeker. Kate unexpectedly inherits her niece Zoe, played tremendously well by Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine). Real-life motherhood must have enabled Zeta-Jones to show her softer side with the restraint her character called for.
Aaron Eckhart (Thank You for Smoking, Black Dahlia) is Nick, the Italian-trained, opera-singing, charismatic new chef who invades Kate's precision-perfect French kitchen. Nick is Kate's quintessential opposite and eventually helps her sort out her trust issues and even enhances her parenting skills.
It is refreshing to see CZJ back on the silver screen where she belongs, and playing a non-glamorous character for once, even sans makeup in some scenes. At 38 years old, that is a brave feat indeed (and this courage is consistent with all the flawed characters she likes to play).
Her on screen chemistry with Eckhart is positively sizzling, and his cockiness to her coolness effectively makes you forget about the trite plot. While Zeta-Jones has also been criticized for being too beautiful for the role of a lonely chef, that is actually one of the ironies of life that this movie uncovers: beauty and talent doesn't really guarantee bliss.
Despite the awful MTV-like montage of the trio grocery shopping and the rest of the unspectacular elements, overall, the movie makes you feel for the characters. You leave the cinema all warm and fuzzy, and that makes the execution of No Reservations a success.
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