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No Reservations
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No Reservations More at IMDbPro »

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I Have Reservations About No Reservations **1/2

Author: edwagreen from United States
25 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We've seen this one before. A precocious child becomes withdrawn and sullen when her mother is killed in an auto accident. She goes to live with a relative, in this case her aunt and causes the life of the latter to chase drastically with romance ensuing.

Abigail Breslin is that precocious child. Catherine Zeta Jones is miscast her. She doesn't seem to be an aunt. You needed a Marsha Mason like quality to her and that she doesn't have.

There is good acting by Aaron Eckhart, the chef who comes into Zea Jones's life.

Patricia Clarkson is the owner of the resident who appears to be sympathetic, but is she really?

Highly predictable, but food for thought. Try it as some of the food shown must be delicious. Unfortunately, this film is not.

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Author: thefan-2 from Detroit
20 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't mind a little bit of predictability in a movie, but this is ridiculous. Hard-driven, emotionally shaky career woman inherits young child from deceased relative and now must learn to be normal like the rest of us. She might even find love and lose her hard edges and blah blah blah. . .

Well, you get the idea. As soon as Aaron Eckhart shows up as the free-spirited, unshaven, opera singing (the ubiquitous "Nessun Dorma" for the umpteenth time) new cook in Catherine Zeta Jones's kitchen, we pretty much know how it will all end, plus or minus a marriage or some other joint venture.

We fast-forwarded through some of the draggier moments, so for all we know it might have turned into a fast-paced thriller or a nice ambiguous study in abnormal psychology toward the end. Hey, don't laugh, it could happen.

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A slice of romantic drama gone awry

Author: Dingataca from London, England
10 April 2008

Catherine Zeta-Jones is Kate, a perfectionist head chef obsessed with her work. When her sister tragically passes away and leaves her with a child to raise (played by Abigail Breslin), and her new sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart) threatens to take over her perfectly managed kitchen with his exuberance and free spirit, she struggles to adjust, but soon realises not everything in life can be handled as expertly as roast quail.

I found Catherine Zeta-Jones monotonous and irritating in this movie. She seemed to have only ONE voice throughout the whole film, she showed no emotion, even in the most serious scenes. Aaron Eckhart makes up for her, but does not manage to save the film. His character was seriously underdeveloped - apart from liking opera the audience was told nothing about him. However he and Zeta-Jones did have an impressive subtle chemistry. Abigail Breslin as Zoe, was mediocre. Her brother Spencer Breslin was never interesting to me and she is pretty much the same. Also I didn't find her believable enough as a girl grieving for her deceased mother.

Overall, 'No Reservations' is a pretty bland dish, despite being cooked in a smart kitchen. 5/10

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Pleasant movie, American re-make of 'Bella Martha' (2001).

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
29 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As I watched the movie, it had a familiar feel to it. Then I remembered the 2001 German movie 'Bella Martha' (American title 'Mostly Martha') was made from the same screenplay. Both are pretty much the same movie with a few differences.

Here we have Catherine Zeta-Jones as Kate, the all too serious chef, but one of the best in New York. As in the other movie, her sister is driving to visit her but dies in a car accident, and the young daughter survives. Suddenly forced into child care, Kate doesn't cope very well and takes some time off. Because of that and a pregnant cook, a new Italian-trained chef is hired. Aaron Eckhart is the chef, Nick, and Kate is angry that she was not consulted first.

Abigail Breslin is good as the young niece, Zoe, who now is under the care of Kate. Patricia Clarkson is good as Paula, the owner of the restaurant. And, Bob Balaban is good as the Therapist that Kate is required by her boss to see.

While mostly predictable, it is an entertaining movie about different personalities and how they become able to get along.

SPOILERS: Unlike the other movie, Zoe does not run off to find her dad. But Kate does quit her job after sticking the raw steak into the table of a customer who complained that it wasn't rare enough. Then she convinces Nick not to take the job in San Francisco, and the three of them (Kate, Nick, and Zoe) open their own little sidewalk Italian cafe.

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Pleasant Enough

Author: (bob-rutzel-1) from United States
21 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kate (Z-J) is a tough, top chef at an upscale restaurant and her life gets turned upside down by suddenly having to care for her niece , Zoe (Breslin) and by the restaurant hiring another top chef (Eckhart). Oh, oh!

Well, it was pleasant enough, no one was killed, shot, or stabbed and there were no car chases or explosions. Now this isn't a bad thing. It's not easy to find this kind of movie anymore, especially when the performances are first rate. I would say it was sort of a romantic comedy without too much romance or comedy. There were attempts at romance, but no one really cared. And, there were a few comedic moments, but to describe them would lose the moment. You had to be there.

We kind of liked Kate the way she was even with caring for Zoe and dealing with Nick (Eckhart). Don't ask me why. Well, okay, Catherine Zeta-Jones is a very good actress, beautiful too, and I am mesmerized when she is on the screen. Also, I didn't find Nick to be the guy. He was pleasant enough, but not the guy for our Kate. Don't ask me why. Okay, okay, maybe it was because I felt he never shaved during the whole movie and looked like he might have used a Face Flobee to get the facial hairs to be the exact same size every day for days on end. Very distracting. He wasn't the guy. He was pleasant enough, just not the guy.

There was nothing intense about anything, kind of smooth all the way through, but I did enjoy watching Kate work her way through caring for a child who just lost her mother and her relationship with Nick, the new chef. Catherine Zeta-Jones is very good actress, and beautiful too. Did I mention that before? Also it was enjoyable watching Ms Breslin show more range without being given a lot of lines. One day there will be a showdown between Ms Breslin and Dakota Fanning. Count on it. Both are great.

As I said, it was pleasant enough, and the rest of the cast performed exceptionally well.

Violence: No Sex: No Nudity: No Language: No

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Something's Cooking This Summer

Author: moviewizguy from United States
1 March 2008

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.

I really was looking forward to this. I really wanted to like the film but this movie falls short. First of all, the film is a bit fast paced from the beginning. A lot of things happen in the first fifteen minutes of the film. After that, you get your usual romantic comedy, without a lot of laughs. However, I was destined to love this film.

I was surprised by the overall dramatic tone throughout the film. It was more or less a depressing film with some sentimental sweetness and some sappy scenes. The cinematography is excellent! It really adds some depth into the movie. I also love the score of the film, although they did overkill a song by playing it every five minutes.

I knew before watching this film that it would be predictable and I was right. It was predictable and I wished the film could've been a lot better if there wasn't a predictable tone throughout the film. This is weird, since I usually don't mind if a film is predictable, depending on what the film is. But I think I was expecting a lot more in this movie.

The performances are strong, especially by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin themselves are not too bad, either. In the end, you get what you expect. However, the film is extremely sweet and hard not to like but very forgettable in the end.

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Melts in Your Mouth

Author: Subhamoy Sengupta from Paderborn, Germany
26 February 2008

Why do we have to give low rating to a film just because it has not startled us with something disturbing or surreal? La Finestra di Fronte got much higher rating than this, but I think the director of that movie was not so much oriented as Scott Hicks in No Reservations. I have not seen Bella Martha, so I can't compare. But this one is independently a good romantic movie, with fine touches that show you simple facts that perhaps you do notice, but deny for the sake of your ego.

Catherine Zeta-Jones was the perfect choice for this role. Just looking at her lips and her eyes, and how she smells the aroma of Saffron Sauce can make you re-live your memorable moments of passion all over again. This movie is not suitable for the American audience. It would be a much better success in those small countries where life is not about Blackberry, XBOX, parking tickets, hard scheduled dates, raises and mergers, but about blue skies, clear clouds, fresh milk and wild flowers at breakfast table. Yes, the movie does not take place in a 'urbs like that, but when you enter the kitchen of an exotic restaurant, you live the outside world behind. It is a new world within a world. To appreciate that world, you need to have different values.

Exotic food has an intimate bond with exotic music, especially opera arias, since time immemorial. But with someone like Phillip Glass as the director and composer of soundtracks, I expected a little unorthodox numbers from the good old days along with Nissun Dorma and Piano Concerto No.5 on E flat major. Nonetheless, this movie keeps you entertained for every single minute without boring or stressing you for even a moment. It melts in your mouth like the finest quality Creme Fraiche.

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Not a bad Movie!

Author: 31416-1 from Chico, Calfiornia
15 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a not a bad movie. This movie was about a chef named Kate Armstrong (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who did not take well to criticism from customers. One day her sister and niece Zoe are coming to pay her a visit, when her sister is killed in an accident. Therefore Armstrong is left to take care of Zoe. Kate is forced by her boss to take a week off, and upon her return, Kate discovers a new chef named Nicholas Palmer has been hired to work with her. Nick has a different personality then Kate, and an open perspective on life. Throughout the movie, Kate works through the difficulty of work, her relationship with Nick, as well taking care of her niece. I overall rate this movie a 6 to 7 out of 10.

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don't believe the average score

Author: steve-3829 from United States
21 September 2007

I was prompted to review based on the low average score. I assumed that it was the acting though all three of the main characters were striking. Granted it is a love story and predictable, yet their interaction was fresh and thus authentic. Often such movies contain bloated characters for Reader's Digest or a soup commercial; but look at the cast in this one! Yes there are classic themes in this one but I do not think that these take away from this piece. I would say that the title may have been more catchy to the public as just "Reservations." Perhaps the cinematography is the weakest in this movie I still believe it warrants more attention.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

If this was something to eat I would say that it was bad cooked and hard to swallow

Author: Rodrigo Amaro ( from São Paulo, Brazil
6 April 2011

I'm truly disappointed with "No Reservations" since it looks like one of those films where you can have a delightful and nice moment, spend some good time in front of a screen and enjoy it in a weekend afternoon. But the story of two chefs (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart) trying to solve their differences on the same restaurant kitchen, but really together helping the woman's niece (Abigail Breslin) she got to raise after the kid's mother death in accident seemed forced, contrived and uninteresting. It's not funny, it's not romantic, it's just a silly drama that got lost somewhere.

Watching the food prepared but these two chefs was nice, beautiful to see but I prefer to cook my own instead of watching something that makes me bored, hungry and twisting my nerves. This movie doesn't have a good recipe and it ends up burned on the stove of weak films. The problems with it is a screenplay without ambition, lack of animosity between everyone involved, tasteless drama and a boring comedy with no laughs, uninteresting characters. It's a epic fail to select to control this a director who does not have timing, experience or empathy with romantic comedies, instead he created a movie that didn't had to be made, there's nothing valuable here. Scott Hicks, the director is a man of one big great film and that is "Shine". This can get an easy 10 stars, A+, but some of his other works after his Oscar nomination seems to fall to pieces (although "Hearts in Atlantis" has a great potential and fantastic performances).

Eckhart tried so hard to be funny, was effective at certain parts but wasn't enough to make this film funnier. Catherine has lots of appeal but stays with an average performance. Little Miss Sunshine Breslin doesn't have a great role since her Oscar nominated performance and her character here is unbearable, only losing the award of most annoying to Patricia Clarkson, very dead on scene as Catherine's boss.

Cooking your least favorite meal in your house is more fun than this movie. Crying while cutting an onion is ten times more fun than this movie. It really bores to death. 3/10

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