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Japan: Hokkaido








nice remake of a better movie

SnoopyStyle19 April 2015

Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the intense perfectionist head chef of an upscale Manhattan restaurant. She has anger issues and the restaurant owner Paula (Patricia Clarkson) sends her to a therapist (Bob Balaban). She lives an intense lonely single life refusing to date her neighbor Sean. Her sister dies in a car crash. Her niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin) survives and is placed with her. Zoe's father is unknown. They both struggle. Paula hires new chef Nick Palmer (Aaron Eckhart) to pick up the slack which only angers Kate.

It's a remake of 'Mostly Martha'. This is a bit lighter in tone than the original. There are some minor changes but they kept Leah pregnant with short hair. I'm glad they lost Zoe's father in this version. It was a bit of a distraction in the original.

Breslin is a great child actor. She is the big improvement over the original. She and Zeta-Jones have a compelling story. The romance with Aaron Eckhart is a little lacking. He has limited chemistry with Zeta-Jones. They're also relying on a few too many montages. I would also prefer a lot more food porn in a cooking movie. Nevertheless, this is a nice story of coming together.

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Delightfully Sweet

claudio_carvalho2 February 2009

In Manhattan, the workaholic Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the chef of the 22 Bleecker Restaurant owned by Paula (Patricia Clarkson), who sent her to a therapist (Bob Balaban) because she has no other interest in life but cooking and controlling her kitchen. When her only sister dies in a car accident, Kate becomes the guardian of her niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin), who can not overcome the loss of her mother. Paula orders Kate to take a couple of days off to care of Zoe; when Kate returns to the work, she finds that Paula hired the sub-chef Nick (Aaron Eckhart) without her approval. Nick explains that he is honored of working with Kate, but the jealous Kate does not trust in him and believes he wants her position. When Zoe gets close to Nick and invites him to have dinner with Kate and her, she changes her feelings for Nick. But when his work is recognized by the clients of the restaurant, Kate believes she committed a mistake.

"No Reservations" is delightfully sweet, with a nice romance supported by the magnificent chemistry of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart; a good story; a wonderful soundtrack; and the visual of splendorous dishes. The beauty of Catherine Zeta-Jones is awesome, and I really loved her character and this entertaining feel-good movie. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Sem Reservas" ("Without Reservations")

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No Reservations

jboothmillard25 June 2011

Warning: Spoilers

I heard a little about this film during its release, obviously about the leading actress starring, and that it involved cooking in a restaurant, so I thought it looked like one I should try, from director Simon Hicks (Shine). Basically in Manhattan, Kate Armstrong (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the workaholic master chef of the 22 Bleecker Restaurant owned by Paula (Patricia Clarkson) who has recommended her to a Therapist (Gosford Park's Bob Balaban) due to her cold, no-nonsense, bossy and pain in the neck behaviour. Things start to change for her when her only sister is killed in a car accident she becomes the guardian for her ten year old niece Zoe (Little Miss Sunchine's Abigail Breslin) who comes to live with her. As Kate struggles to take care of the grieving child, arriving in the restaurant is the new second/substitute chef Nick Palmer (Aaron Eckhart) who is a fan of Italian music and food, and was found because he is a fan of Kate's cooking. He explains he is honoured to work alongside her, but Kate is jealous and testy with the new arrangement, she is sure he wants to take over her role in the kitchen, and he seems to be a bit more appreciated to her. Of course she slowly realises the kitchen would not be the same without his presence and cooking skills, and when Zoe is invited to the restaurant he seems to be bringing her out of her grief stricken shell. Eventually it comes to the point when Kate and Nick are co-operating, so much so that they go out together and fall in love, and in the end, after the usual argument, bad point and fall out, things comes together in the end, and all rightful names become the name for the restaurant. Also starring Jenny Wade as Leah, Brían F. O'Byrne as Sean, Lily Rabe as Bernadette and Zoë Kravitz, Lenny's daughter as Charlotte. Zeta-Jones does well as the leading character who is a little bitchy for a while but lightens up as time goes by, Eckhart is likable, and Breslin is cute and reasonably lovable, it is a slightly predictable and cheesy story in parts, and I didn't think we saw enough delicious food preparation, but overall it is a nice romantic comedy drama. Worth watching!

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

TxMike29 March 2008

Warning: 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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Ms. Jones, Ms. Breslin, and Eckhart provide nice atmosphere in No Reservations

tavm13 April 2013

Warning: Spoilers

After six years, I finally got to see this and while part of me expected a romantic comedy, the fact this was mostly a drama with some light moments was fine with me as I really enjoyed seeing Ms. Catherine Zeta-Jones playing a chef who's used to doing things her way before having to deal with her niece Abigail Breslin after her mother dies and then also then dealing with another chef at her restaurant played by Aaron Eckhart. This was both a touching and cheerful movie that had me mostly smiling during the most heart tugging scenes. Really, the atmosphere was just good enough for whatever the sequences called for. So on that note, I highly recommend No Reservations.

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I Have Reservations About No Reservations **1/2

edwagreen25 April 2008

Warning: 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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No as good as the original, but still entertaining

Gordon-1116 December 2007

This film is about an obsessive chef clashing with a carefree chef who invades her kitchen after a horrible accident killing her sister.

I watched the original Bella Martha and instantly fell in love with it. I was hoping No Reservations would have the same charm and chemistry, but unfortunately it did not.

No Reservations gets Americanised a lot, including the rather pointless addition of a therapist! Unlike Bella Martha, No Reservations do not even focus on nice food, which is a great pity. The relationship of Nick and Kate is poorly built up, and I think they don't have chemistry together. Fortunately, Zoe is a likable character, and Abigail Breslin acts very well.

No Reservations is still entertaining, but it is a lot less charming and enthusiastic than Bella Martha.

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tedg20 November 2007

I love this stuff, situations where you have copies of movies: remakes, many sequels, "homages." That way you can transcend certain weaknesses of a project. Its because when you come to a film cold, the context is merely the universe of other films which is to say the stories we use in imagining our lives. When its a remake like this, that context collapses to the previous film and what we see are the differences. In intelligent subsequents, these extend and annotate. In dumb ones like this they reinvent.

The original film depended on you knowing that it was a film made by Germans about German limitations. German thought is mechanical, constrained, learned. German food is as well, even when using the styles from elsewhere. So a well-regimented, obsessive kitchen is a great cinematic metaphor for the world in which our heroine is captured. When we see her prison, we see the emotional prison Germans consider themselves in. So it matters that the interloper is Italian, essentially a lower body emotional intuitive. And it matters that the regime of the kitchen is suffused with music.

It even matters that the music is opera, that one thing that remains from Italian art that can be said to be both emotionally deep (embodied) and strictly — oh so strictly — ordered. The original, therefore, mattered. It worked. It touched, avoiding the limits of the traditional romantic story. Its all about transcending constraints. Incidentally, in touching this, the original understood female stereotypes better, including the use of the redhead shorthand.

It mattered that the original included the father and his social standing.

I've never been impressed by Zeta-Jones as an actress, though her entertainment gig in "Chicago" was impressive. Here, she is photographed to her disadvantage. The poster for the film understood her one charming pose. It doesn't appear in the film, and her face is lit as an object in the environment rather than the focus it normally would be.

That environmental perspective is where this film is superior to the original for me. Where nearly all the values are watered down to satisfy an apparently unsophisticated American market, the movement and order of the kitchen are better delivered here than in the original. The food is more immediately succulent. The smells, flames, tastes, are closer. The score helps.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

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How can we like the movie when the lead character is so unlikable?

dbborroughs23 December 2007

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart star in a "romantic" drama about an uptight chef played by Zeta-Jones, who ends up carrying for her niece when her sister is killed in a car crash. While she's out taking care of family matters she's replaced by Eckhart.

Unfunny maudlin tale with no chemistry between the leads (she's a dead fish and he's okay, but not much of anything). Watching this I was wondering why anyone would want to see this since Zeta-Jones' character is so unlikable. Come on she's so obsessed with cooking and being the best all she does is cook for her therapist or talk about food. Ugh. I won't use any of the numerous puns that come to mind. I couldn't finish it.

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A Predictable but Palatable Little Cinematic Dish

zardoz-132 August 2007

Warning: Spoilers

"Legend of Zorro" starlet Catherine Zeta-Jones and "Erin Brockovich's" leading man Aaron Eckhart cook up a predictable but palatable little cinematic dish in director Scott Hicks' "No Reservations," a savory rehash of German director Sandra Nettelbeck's 2001 movie "Mostly Martha." Interestingly, like the recent Disney movie "Ratatouille," this cute chick flick focuses on what occurs when an outsider invades the kitchen of a renowned chef and turns her life upside down. Unlike the Disney cartoon, however, this romantic-comedy focuses on love and human relationships at large and shuns outlandish special effects. Moreover, "No Reservations" provides a welcome relief from the glut of juvenile minded summer time action thrillers. Audiences that appreciate genuine human sentiments will find a lot to delight themselves in this neatly served up 105-minute melodrama.

Kate Armstrong (Catherine Zeta-Jones of "Chicago") lives only to cook and works as the chief chef at a ritzy Greenwich Village corner restaurant in Manhattan where she is a god of sorts to those who worship her culinary skills. Unfortunately, Kate's sympathetic but business-oriented boss Paula (Patricia Clarkson of "The Green Mile") thinks that her control freak chef needs to calm down and cool off in therapy because she loses her grip on reality when customers complain about the food. Reluctantly, Kate yields to Paula's suggestion and schedules appointments with a mousy psychologist (Bob Balaban of "Gosford Park") where she speaks about things in general and cooks tasty food for him. During these sessions, she reveals that she has man trouble. In other words, after she takes up with a guy and moves in with him, he usually dumps her and she is left all alone. As a result, she has little to do with men, or anybody else as far as that goes. At one point, lonely Kate bemoans her fate: "I wish there was a cookbook for life, with recipes telling us exactly what to do."

Two things happen early on that sabotage Kate's orderly life. First, her sister dies in an off-screen auto accident, but her 9-year old daughter Zoe (Abigail Breslin of "Little Miss Sunshine") survives. Since Zoe has nowhere to live, Aunt Kate takes her in reluctantly and acts as her guardian. Naturally, the two suffer through their share of heartaches before they become acclimated to each other. For a while, Zoe lingers on the past, staring longingly at a photo scrapbook and videos that her mother left her. Kate, who hasn't a clue about how to raise a child, struggles desperately with her new predicament. Zoe refuses to eat anything that Kate fixes, and Paula tells Kate to take a little time off to brush up on her new parenting duties. When Kate returns to work, she discovers that Paula has gone behind her back and hired a shaggy-haired, free-spirited, blond chef, Nick (charismatic Aaron Eckhart of "Thank You For Smoking"), who wears pajama pants to work and lightens up the stuffy atmosphere in Kate's tightly-run kitchen by singing to Italian opera music on his compact disc player.

Initially, these two chefs lock horns. Kate specializes in French fare, while Nick has a knack for cooking Italian cuisine. She thinks that he is trying to encroach on her kingdom. Eventually, she relents when Nick assures her that he didn't take the job to replace her. Instead, he wants to learn from her. Later, Kate notices that Zoe likes Nick. Kate, it seems, cannot find a decent enough baby-sitter, so she brings Zoe to work with her at nights. One evening she watches in surprise as Nick persuades finicky Zoe to eat a bowl of spaghetti. Previously, Kate had designed sumptuous feasts that any adult would die for but that Zoe would turn her nose up at in quiet polite disgust. Predictably, before long, Kate and Nick begin to see each other, much to Zoe's delight. Inevitably, after a number of candle-lit dinners and romantic evenings, Kate and Nick fight and break up. Nevertheless, these two cannot stay apart for long, despite their disagreements about what constitutes a good meal, because match-making Zoe won't let them.

Director Scott Hicks, who helmed "Shine," "Snow Falling on Cedars," and the Stephen King thriller "Hearts in Atlantis," rarely lets gritty reality intrude on this superficial but sweetly sentimental saga. The setting of "No Reservations" is a New York City that exists only as a fairy tale in either the films of Woody Allen or in "You've Got Mail." Although tragedy brings Kate and Zoe together, Hicks doesn't linger on anything depressing. Although it is difficult to imagine her as love-lorn, Catherine Zeta-Jones is every bit convincing as the perfectionist chef who even scours the food markets to get items to make her dishes unique. If anything, Kate resembles a fairy tale character, confined into her kitchen, and awaiting a Prince Charming, who arrives in the person of charming Nick, to rescue her. "No Reservations" owes much of its believability to the sparkling chemistry between Jones and Eckhart. Reportedly, celebrity chef Michael White gave the leads some pointers about cooking. Everything about "No Reservations" is a neat, sweet feast for the eyes, the ears, and the taste buds. Amorous couples looking for dinner and a movie might want to reverse their priorities and watch this treat first before they treat themselves afterward.

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It Was Okay--but Rather Predictable and Lacked Humor

Uriah4329 November 2018

This movie begins with a very talented chef by the name of "Kate" (Catherine Zeta-Jones) talking to her therapist about everything except the reason that she is there. Her main problem, as it so happens, is that she is extremely focused on her work-to the exclusion of everything else. As a result, her obsession toward perfection irritates the entire kitchen staff at the restaurant to the point that her boss has had to demand that she seek professional help. And it's then that things become much worse when her sister is killed in an automobile accident that leaves Kate to take care of her young niece "Zoe" (Abigail Breslin). Naturally, needing some time off for this she takes a leave of absence during which time the restaurant hires another chef by the name of "Nick" (Aaron Eckhart) to help out temporarily. However, once Kate returns she finds that things have changed dramatically-and Kate now has to adapt to the situation. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was an okay romantic-comedy for the most part with both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart putting in adequate performances. The main problems I had with it was that not only was it rather predictable but the comedy wasn't nearly as sharp as it could have been either. Those criticisms aside, I thought it still passed the time well enough and for that reason I have rated it accordingly. Average.

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No Reservation for This Film.

anaconda-4065811 August 2015

Warning: Spoilers

No Reservations (2007): Dir: Scott Hicks / Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson, Bob Balaban: Title physically suggests the restaurant setting for which Catherine Zeta-Jones works but symbolically it addresses her inner struggle for relationships. She plays an uptight chef who is given custody of her niece when her sister dies. A male chef is hired and she is put off with his ability to ease tension in the kitchen. Setting presents charm but structure is predictable. It lacks romance and highlights grief. Directed by Scott Hicks who previously made Snow Falling on Cedars and Shine. He is aided by good locations and a terrific lead. Zeta-Jones holds her own as a respected chef who suddenly lapses into responsibility for her niece and struggling to cope with the stress. Aaron Eckhart had potential as the stress managing new chef but the role is reduced to romantic clichés. Abigail Breslin plays the niece who will struggle to adapt, hate Zeta-Jones's food, and eat whatever Eckhart puts in front of her. Patricia Clarkson is flat as Zeta-Jones's boss. Bob Balaban makes an appearance playing Zeta-Jones's therapist who tells her the obvious bull. While the film makes reservations for emotional healing its delivery is far from perfect when factoring in that it was advertized as a romantic comedy and delivers on leftovers from other films. Score: 5 ½ / 10

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A great date movie

HotToastyRag18 December 2017

Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a gourmet New York chef who's in mandatory therapy because her boss, restaurant owner Patricia Clarkson, thinks she's too structured and uptight. She's single and set in her ways, but when her sister dies and leaves her young daughter, Abigail Breslin, in her charge, her entire life turns upside down. Add in a radical new chef, Aaron Eckhart, in her kitchen, and she almost becomes completely unglued!

Catherine Zeta-Jones gives a surprisingly good performance in this comedy-dramedy. Usually, audiences are too stunned by her appearance to even bother noticing whether or not she can act, but in this one, they try very hard to downplay her looks so her acting can shine. She's still beautiful, but it's easy to see her frustration, loneliness, and tenderness. She's in a role that could easily be hammed up by a lazy actress so that the audience quickly gets that she feels out of her element, but Catherine plays it in a realistic way.

Abigail Breslin gives one of her best performances in No Reservations. She can cry at the drop of a hat, and when the script calls for her to be angry, hopeful, or cute, she easily complies. And, while I'm not a very big fan of the rest of the cast, Aaron Eckhart, Patricia Clarkson, and Lily Rabe, they're perfectly adequate in the roles they're given. Aaron is supposed to be at ease and full of himself, Patricia is supposed to be competent and in control, and Lily is supposed to be low-class and annoying.

If, by any chance, you've seen the original German film, Mostly Martha, you should be forewarned that No Reservations takes a very different tone. The romance is barely a plot point in the original, and it's much more of a drama. The American remake is lighter and more romantic.

Either director Scott Hicks or cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh chose a very interesting filming style. In every scene that is supposed to show Catherine's structure, the shots are framed through windows or with bars and lines in the background. While you might not notice the consistency at first, it's quite clever and adds to the feeling of relaxation when she finally lets her hair down. My one complaint in the film-besides my lack of enthusiasm for the romance-is the food shown in Catherine's kitchen. She's a perfectionist and a gourmet, but she's rarely shown preparing or discussing ornate dishes. In one scene, she's given the task of putting a sugar spun garnish on a dessert, something that would never be done by the head chef-and would be taken care of during the preparation hours before the restaurant's open, not during the dinner rush. Besides that, the script is pretty cute, and it's a great date movie to watch with someone you hope will become your sweetie pie.

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A Nutshell Review: No Reservations

DICK STEEL2 September 2007

No Reservations is a remake of Bella Martha (Mostly Martha), a German movie made way back in 2001. The premise is entirely the same, and I thought the local distributors were sly enough to hold back the release of this movie to coincide during the time of the local premiere of Ratatouille. I suspect it's to rub off the Pixar animated movie's successful telling of a story set within a kitchen, to orientate moviegoers to the various roles and functions within the restaurant kitchen, so that we're all ready for this when we're in the mood for some love.

And the food is absolutely to die for in this movie too. As with Bella Martha and Ratatouille, you'll just drool at the gastronomical delights that are whipped up for the movie, so the warning I give will be, don't watch this on an empty stomach, and you'll probably emerge from the theatre hall wanting to dine in a restaurant than your nearest hawker centre or food court.

For those who have watched Bella Martha (as I had in doing my homework), then this movie isn't any different for the most parts. In summary, it's a story about a workaholic chef Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who has to juggle to changes to her life when her boss makes her go for therapy to control that anger inside her. The first is to take care of her niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine) when her sister meets with an accident, and the other is to manage that threat from work, in the form of another chef Nick (Aaron Eckhart), who has the potential to run his own kitchen, but for some reason chose to work under Kate in the same restaurant.

As a romantic comedy, this movie works, well, because it adapted almost every romantic scene from the German movie. Key scenes are recreated, and for those who have watched the original, you'll recognize them in a jiffy. But No Reservations still stands on its own, thanks to its wonderful cast. Zeta-Jones is as beautifully luminous as always, and I thought she hadn't aged a bit since the first I saw her back in Mask of Zorro. She brings about a tough as nails, no nonsense attitude to her role as Kate, yet is also the vulnerable soul looking for love. If compared to the original character, no doubt Zeta-Jones is eye-candy. Aaron Eckhart brought about a certain boyish charm to his character as compared to Sergio Castellitto in the original, but Sergio had a much mature air around him. But fans of Abigail Breslin will no doubt be glad that she did exhibit some of those boogie moves (for just a bit), and I'm glad that it's not yet another role that shoos in Dakota Fanning. Watch out Fanning, here comes Breslin!

But if you're to compare Bella Martha and No Reservations, each has their superior points over the other. The Hollywood version is more polished and straight-forward, opting to rely on its good looking casts to deliver the goods, and thankfully they do, even though it had to dumb down certain plot lines, making it pacier, but it couldn't shake away its "Hollywood RomCom" look and feel. It also shrewdly adapted the soundtrack from Bella Martha as well, because the music just works perfectly with the food. The original on the other hand, had more scenes which are done subtly, and doesn't feel a need to explain every little detail in verbatim. So it has more quieter moments and the romantic connotations don't come so obviously, but brews quietly in the background. What I found slightly appalling, is that No Reservations decided to dump a sub plot altogether, one that was important in the original, probably for fear of introducing yet another character. It's mostly the same, until the last third.

Those who haven't watched the original shouldn't feel too bothered about that of course, but I felt it was something a little wasted. Nonetheless No Reservations is the romance movie on offering this week, and by itself, it provides some decent entertaining fare. But do yourself that favour, go watch the original too!

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Fair version of a great 2001 movie

SimonJack7 January 2017

For anyone who hasn't seen the 2001 German film, "Mostly Martha," this movie will pass as a good story. But, those of us who have seen the original have a standard with which to compare. Thus, my rating of six stars for "No Reservations."

The performances here are okay, with even more humor written into this all American version. But, that's precisely one of the big drawbacks to this film compared to the original. In "Martha," much of the substance of the film flowed from the differences of two countries – Germany and Italy. The principal characters fit that scheme. But the biggest aspect is the seeming naturalness of the original film. It was an original story and it seemed to flow naturally. Whereas, one is more aware of the acting in this movie.

Naturally, the script has some changes as well. But, this movie is never able to bring out the nuances of Martha from the original. Kate, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, doesn't seem to be the same intense, then conflicted, and gradually warming character. And, Aaron Eckhart's Nick seems more of an amiable, good-hearted character – a nice likable guy one might see in any restaurant kitchen. Rather, in "Martha," Mario stands out as a character in the Hamburg kitchen. Sergio Castellitto played the part as a foreigner who nevertheless knows his business and is welcomed.

Again, this isn't a bad film. Most people will enjoy it. But for those who have seen the original, it comes across as very light and just so-so.

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Churned out by the Hollywood factory

JamesHitchcock6 July 2011

Boy meets girl. Girl hates boy. Boy is not that keen on girl either. Boy and girl gradually change their minds. Girl loves boy. Boy loves girl. All ends happily.

The above plot is an old one but (in the right hands) a good one; it has served as the basis of a number of classic works of literature, such as Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" or Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". In the wrong hands, however, it can also serve as the basis of every trite, hackneyed Hollywood romantic comedy you've ever seen. "No Reservations" is a case in point. (I understand it was based on a German film "Mostly Martha", which I have never seen).

Because rom-com is a popular genre but there are so few basic rom-com plots, the scriptwriters for such movies have to try and distinguish their efforts from everyone else's by inserting a gimmick or two in every film. The first gimmick in "No Reservations" is that it is set in the world of haute cuisine. The heroine, Kate Armstrong, is the head chef at an up-market New York restaurant, and the hero, Nick Palmer, her sous-chef. The two have (as is normal in films of this type) very different personalities. Kate is introverted and emotionally reserved. She finds it difficult to interact with other people and lives only for her work. Nick, by contrast, is a brash, outgoing extrovert who loves to play operatic arias in the kitchen at full volume, much to Kate's disgust. (Despite his English surname, Nick is said to be of Italian-American descent, and his character- loud personality, love of opera, eating spaghetti- can be seen as a compendium of Anglo-Saxon clichés about Italians).

Although Nick chose to work at Kate's restaurant because of his admiration for her cooking, the personality clash between them means that they take a strong initial dislike to one another, so a second gimmick is needed as a catalyst to bring them together. Kate's sister is killed in a car accident and her young niece Zoe comes to live with her. Zoe is a shy, withdrawn child, mourning the death of her mother, and Kate finds it difficult to bond with her. Unable to find child-care, Kate takes to bringing Zoe along to the restaurant at night, where the little girl takes an immediate liking to Nick, who cooks some of his famous spaghetti for her. You can work out the rest of the story from there.

Apart from the over-familiar storyline, my main problem with the film lay in the miscasting of the lovely Catherine Zeta Jones as Kate. In just about everything I've ever seen her in, going all the way back to "The Darling Buds of May" in the early nineties, Catherine's screen persona has been one characterised by passion, spiritedness and vitality. This has been true not only of other rom-coms such as "America's Sweethearts" and "Intolerable Cruelty", but also comedies ("Splitting Heirs"), costume dramas ("The Return of the Native"), musicals ("Chicago"), crime capers ("Entrapment") and action-adventure (the "Zorro" films). In all these films she has shown herself to possess talent as well as beauty, but even talented actors have their limitations, and playing repressed, withdrawn introverts like Kate seems to be something quite alien to her style of acting. This is probably the worst performance I have seen from her.

Aaron Eckhart as the cheeky chappie Nick is not quite so miscast, although he seems to be coasting through the film, his main expression seeming to be a smug grin conveying the knowledge that his deeply cleft chin and carefully cultivated designer stubble make him irresistible to women, even to an old misery-boots like Kate.

The film was directed by Scott Hicks, the Australian director who about a dozen years earlier had so impressed me with his "Shine", the biopic of pianist David Helfgott. He exemplifies a phenomenon I have noted with some other non-American directors who move to Hollywood; they get swallowed up by the system, seem to lose all the freshness and originality they possessed in their home countries and end up directing uninteresting, formulaic films thrillers or romantic comedies. Hicks's first American film was "Snow Falling on Cedars" which still kept some original touches, even though I did not enjoy it as much as David Guterson's novel. "No Reservations", by contrast, is just another standard product churned out by the Hollywood factory. 4/10

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Yes, reservations.

jdesando25 July 2007

"There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves." Thomas Wolfe

Ratatouille renewed my appetite for food movies, just as Babette's Feast whetted it almost 20 years ago. No Reservations reminds me that even a well-intentioned food movie can be poorly served. Yuck, it's like looking at beautifully-appointed wax fruit; Look too closely and you'll not eat it. If you do eat, you'll regret.

I regret that the beautifully put together Catherine Zeta Jones as Chef Kate at a trendy eatery on Bleeker St. cannot generate half the soul a little animated rat does when he tosses a garlic in a stew. When she puts truffles in a quail sauce, it's like an inept carpenter destroying your cherry cabinet with one blow: You just know he is in the wrong profession. Granted, Zeta-Jones's Kate has the maudlin ingredient cooked right into the plot—her sister killed in an auto accident, her niece becoming her ward, the music tinkling when they look at the family photos and swelling when they do "crazy" things together to create the elusive bond.

All I took away from this tear-jerking rom-com was a desire to go home and cook my favorite pasta combination; Aaron Eckhart's sous-chef Nick inspired me with his combination. But in the end, I laughed little (cooking cute is a tough assignment), was annoyed at the well-worn plot (Would Kate and Nick fall in love, she the crusty chef, he the canoodling cook?), and just wanted to get the bill and go.

As you can tell, I have plenty of reservations about No Reservations. See what I mean: You knew I'd try to be critic cute with that title. What fun can it be to know what's going to happen?

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Maybe I was expecting too much

KineticSeoul15 October 2009

I really wanted to love this movie, and not only cause it had Aaron Eckhart in it but I thought the premise would be cool cause I enjoy movies and shows that revolves around chefs. The cinematography was good but besides it being revolved around chefs everything else is just very cliché. Oh and Little Miss Sunshine was very irritating in this movie although Abigail Breslin seems to be a bit irritating in every movie she is in cause she plays a lot of roles where she is whinny. It has some decent flashes of cooking, but food really didn't play a big part in the movie than I expected which was a big disappointment for me. This film had some good potential, the cast was great but they just had very little to work with. I like a good light hearted romantic comedy but this was just bland. And longer than it should be cause it felt way longer than it is. It's not a terrible movie, you just won't miss anything by not watching this movie.


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A Little Reserved, Not Scrumptious All The Way But Still Watchable

Chrysanthepop16 August 2010

I haven't seen 'Mostly Martha' (though I plan to) but 'No Reservations' is pretty formulaic. The story isn't exactly refreshing as lonely workaholic woman suddenly has to take care of her niece while competing with and eventually falling in love with co-worker has been repeated many times in Hollywood. However, this doesn't make the film unwatchable. In spite of its predictability, it isn't boring.

Even though it has a polished look, director Hicks has toned down the story and the foodiness of it adds colour (I like movies revolving around food). The movie has heart and is charming in places. The cinematography is terrific, especially the long shots. Philip Glass's score is breathtaking.

Catherine Zeta Jones is superb as Kate, a workaholic and somewhat territorial, chef who suddenly has to deal with raising her niece and teaming up with Nick. She is brilliantly restrained as is Abigail Breslin who once again shines. Aaron Eckhart is a bit over the top at times (this was clearly intended to contrast Catherine's Kate but it doesn't work all the way) and his Italianness appears a little forced but otherwise he's quite alright.

'No Reservations' may not be the best movie of its kind but it's quite a watchable film. Now, I have to find 'Bella Marta' (a.k.a. 'Mostly Martha').

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boring on screen couple

MLDinTN17 August 2008

Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart had little chemistry on screen. They certainly did not look like a couple falling in love. Jones, plays Kate, a great chef but doesn't let people in and doesn't want a boyfriend. For some reason never explained, Nick a new chef at the restaurant falls for her. Why, she is mean to him. He admires her as a chef, but the whole love story is not believable. Kate's sister dies and she must raise her niece. So, this adds more complications to Kate's life, which mainly just consists of the restaurant. She was rather a boring person to center a movie around.

FINAL VERDICT: Dull, not much romance for a supposedly romance film. And it's definitely not a comedy.

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Do not have any reservations whatsoever about seeing this film, if you are a romantic comedy fan, it is terrific!

inkblot1131 July 2007

Warning: Spoilers

Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is a sensational chef who commands the kitchen in a posh Big Apple restaurant. However, she is totally obsessed with her job and saves little time for anything else. As Kate occasionally gets irate at patrons who make any small complaints about the food, her boss (Patricia Clarkson) sends her to a counselor for therapy. Yet, even that does little good to bring a balance to her life. Things change dramatically, though, when Kate's sister dies in an automobile crash and leaves her young daughter, Zoe (Abigail Breslin) in her sibling's care. Having to take a week off from her work, Kate is chagrined to find that, upon her return, the boss lady has hired an Italian sous chef named Nick (Aaron Eckhart) to help keep the pace. Yet, these two radical alterations to Kate's life prove to be very important. Will there be a happy ending for our heroine? This remake of the very fine Mostly Martha is a great new choice for fans of romantic comedy/drama. A good deal of the credit should be extended to the nice cast, as the gorgeous Zeta-Jones, the very handsome Eckhart, and the talented Breslin make a terrific trio. Clarkson is also quite good in a supporting role. The New York City setting has never been lovelier, while the costumes and production values are great as well. As for the script, it is does not shine as brightly as the original German one but it has plenty of zest and heart. Do not have any reservations about marking the calendar to see this film. It is a feast of fun and feel-good moments.

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Some Great Cinematography in This Family Drama

tabuno21 January 2019

21 July 2007. Unlike the trailers imply for this movie, "No Reservations" is more a family drama rather than a romantic comedy. There is lavish bitter dark pathos of death in the beginning of the movie and the more colorful look at restaurant cooking while there are bits of humor scattered like sweets throughout the movie. There are some amazing close up scenes that really grab the attention of the audience with the emotions and captivating context of the scenes, the color motif is brilliant. Overall, the script is basic and mostly predictable with some good tie-ins and closures. It's Catherine Zeta Jones that really makes this movie deliciously sparkle. Entertaining and fun for the summer with good flashes of cooking on part with "Ratatouille" that came out just a little earlier. As an aside, Patricia Clarkson had an earlier role in another cooking film, a romantic, comedy fantasy entitled "Simply Irresistible" (1999) with Sarah Michlle Geller in a more gracious supporting role. Seven out of Ten Stars.

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

Rodrigo_Amaro6 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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Nice film

lisafordeay25 February 2020

Warning: Spoilers

Catherine Zeta Jones stars in this romantic drama opposite Aaron Eckhart where Jones plays Kate a perfectionist chef who works at a fast paced restaurant in NYC. A new chef comes along named Nick(Eckhart) and Kate gets jealous. However her life gets turned upside down as her sister dies suddenly leaving Kate to become the legal guardian of her sister's daughter played by Abigil Breslin.

The story is nice(think of Life As We Know It only the two main leads are chefs in No Reservations and in Life As We Know It the leads are a baker and a tv agent). Catherine was great in this and her chemistry with Aaron was good. If you are a lover of food and rom coms check this one out.

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Worthy enough to reserve it in your Netflix query

meeza7 March 2008

I will try at my best effort to be reserve on inserting negative comments for the culinary dramedy "No Reservations". However, I will not completely stuff it with tasty positivo reviews neither. "No Reservations" stars the delicious Catherine Zeta-Jones as Kate, an OCD demanding top head chef in New York who is suddenly confronted with a real life order she has never cooked up before; caring for her orphan niece whose mother passed away in a car accident. Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin, plays the orphan niece Zoe. To add more uncontrollable spices to Kate's life, she also is derailed in her cooking & romantic world in the form of Nick; a chirpy Italian-loving chef who adds seasoning to Kate's humdrum life mixed in with a few overcooked quarrels of course. Director Scott Hicks does manage to not overdo "No Reservations" with sappy thematic elements, so I have no reservations on that note. However, I do have a few reservations on the unnecessary therapy sessions Kate has with her shrink which did not feed the film right, and also Carol Fuchs' formulaic screenplay which "desserted" the pie of creativity. "No Reservations" was Zeta-Jones' showcase and she was able to cook up some admirable acting chops in her lead performance. The charismatic Aaron Eckhart added a comedic soufflé as the sharp-wit Nick. Abigail Breslin as the grieving niece proved that this little miss actress is on her way to being the main course of child acting. "No Reservations" did entertain my cinematic taste buds, but somehow it did not leave me hungry for more. *** Average

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Strong and hairy Kostya and puny, in silly glasses, Lenya lay on the bed and sucked each other in a pose 69. They already had to fuck girls, but only classmates, and even they usually lay around with logs, waiting for a burst of sperm. In a condom. But with an adult woman, and such a commander like Elena, they were new to them.

No reservations imdb

We sat with Dima for another hour, chatted, drank champagne, and went home. Finally, Katya once again gave Dima a blowjob, swallowing all his sperm without a trace. And a couple of days later, Katya came home from work with good news, she. Was appointed head of the department.

And tomorrow the director is waiting for her at home to congratulate her on her new position and discuss work plans for.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown - Tokyo - S02 E07 - Reel Truth Documentaries

Yes, fuck it, although not, don't fuck, but in the ass quietly, in an undertone, I summed up, looking at the. Monitor display I sat on my knees wide apart, on the bare floor. Between my legs, another pair of legs, beautiful, slender, generally female, lay snugly. A pair of very familiar legs, only before they appeared in front of me now in jeans, then in trousers, sometimes in tights, I.

Now discussing:

But how can you find her now. I went to the room. I walked from corner to corner, I could not find a place for myself. An hour has passed.

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