Media Maven: “No Reservations” Movie Review

Media Maven: “No Reservations” Movie Review

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No Reservations
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson, Bob Balaban

Catherine Zeta-Jones commands the respect and authority she gives to this role as the head chef and diva of an upscale New York restaurant. In “No Reservations,” she plays an independent woman who has made her life’s work become her life. It is not until two unexpected people come into her kitchen that she is forced to make changes and evaluate a new life recipe.

“No Reservations” is a study of Zeta-Jones’ character, Kate, who has her own rhythm, her own agenda and set ways. She doesn’t tolerate complaints from restaurant customers who would dare to challenge any one of her delicacies. She has rules about what to serve and when. Rules about eating healthy and is also strong headed enough to have each of her therapy sessions monopolized by her obsession with food; how to prepare it; how to serve it and what wine would enhance one’s palate.

All this is fine. Except we need a story here. What is advertised as a film about two chefs vying for control of a prestigious kitchen in Manhattan, really is more of a serious study of a person coming to terms with life’s real punches that come when least expected. Some in this case are sad as Kate becomes the guardian of her niece played sweetly by Abigail Breslin. Others can be more surprising as in the character of new chef, Nick, played so coyly by Aaron Eckhart.

The problem with this movie is it makes an earnest effort to show Kate’s struggle with the changes in her life and that effort is taken very seriously. The pairing of the charming, clever, opera singing while he’s cooking, all American, hunky, adorable character of Nick, makes for an unbalanced film.
Nick was just too patient, too agreeable and too perfect to be credible. Heck, find me a guy like that on the menu and I’ll order him for take home!

I was going to give this film two chic stars. Yet my young niece loved it!!! It definitely is a date movie. Maybe she’ll feel differently about it after she has gone out on a few dates and find that we all are human and beauties like Catherine Zeta Jones and hunks like Aaron Eckhart are only in the movies.

Rating: Three Chic Stars

*Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.