20161119: Comedy Review--No Reservations

Name: No Reservations (2007)
IMDb: link to No Reservations page

Genres: Comedy   Country of origin: USA.

Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones as Kate Armstrong, Aaron Eckhart as Nicholas Palmer, Abigail Breslin as Zoe, Bob Balaban as therapist, Patricia Clarkson as Paula, Jenna Wade as Leah, Bryan F. O'Byrne as Sean.

Directed by: Scott Hicks.  Written by: Carol Fuchs (screenplay), Sandra Nettelbeck (screenplay).

The Three Acts:

The initial tableaux:
Kate is the chef at a posh Manhattan restaurant.  She's a bit intense, and her boss Paula has demanded that she goes into therapy.  Kate fends off her therapist by cooking him dishes that he seldom can resist.

Kate's sister comes to visit.  On the way, she and niece Zoe are involved in an accident.  Zoe is OK, but the sister is not.  Kate has to take over care of Zoe.

Delineation of conflicts:
While Kate took time off, Paula hired Nick.  Nick and Kate have a number of differences about cooking.

Zoe and Kate do not know each other.  That takes time.  Zoe starts to like Nick, his Italian food, and his confident exuberance.

Kate's boss Paula gets on Kate's nerves one too many times.

Resolution: People get to know each other; this often solves romantic and familial problems.  The problems between Paula and Kate are harder to address.

One line summary: Two alpha cooks get to know each other.


Cinematography: 6/10 Fuzzy.  I did not like it.

Sound: 8/10 Mostly OK.  Most of the music was good accompaniment.

Acting: 6/10 I usually like Aaron Eckhart, but I disliked his acting a lot in this one.  Ms Zeta-Jones was fine, as was Bob Balaban.  Abigail Breslin, as usual, was better than expected.

Screenplay: 8/10 As romantic comedies go, this was rather nice.

Final rating: 7/10