- No Reservations (film)
Directed by Scott Hicks Produced by Kerry Heysen
Written by Carol Fuchs
Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones
Music by Philip Glass Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh Editing by Pip Karmel Studio Castle Rock Entertainment
Village Roadshow Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros. Release date(s) July 27, 2007 Running time 104 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $28 million Box office $92,601,050
No Reservations is a 2007 American romantic drama film directed by Scott Hicks. The screenplay by Carol Fuchs is an adaptation of an original script by Sandra Nettelbeck, which served as the basis for the 2001 German film Mostly Martha.
Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the master chef at the trendy 22 Bleecker Street Restaurant in Manhattan. She runs her kitchen at a rapid pace as she coordinates the making and preparing of all the fantastic meals and personally displays the food to perfection on every dish. She intimidates everyone around her, so her boss sends her to therapy. Kate hates to leave the kitchen when a customer wants to compliment her on one of her special dishes, but she is ready to leave the kitchen in a second when a customer insults her cooking. Kate's sister is killed in a car accident and her nine-year old daughter Zoe (Abigail Breslin) moves in with Kate. With all of Kate's problems, the boss hires a new chef to join the staff. Nick (Aaron Eckhart) is a rising star in his own right and could be the head chef of another restaurant, but he wants to work under Kate. Kate begins to feel threatened by Nick, because he has a different style of running the kitchen. Nick loves to listen to opera when he cooks and to make the staff laugh. With all that is going on in Kate's life, falling for a man is the last thing she was looking for. There is some kind of chemistry between Kate and Nick that can only go one way. Yet life will hit her in the head when Kate's boss offers Nick the head chef job.
- Catherine Zeta-Jones as Kate Armstrong
- Aaron Eckhart as Nicholas "Nick" Palmer
- Abigail Breslin as Zoe
- Patricia Clarkson as Paula
- Jenny Wade as Leah
- Bob Balaban as Therapist
- Brían F. O'Byrne as Sean
- Lily Rabe as Bernadette
- Rotten Tomatoes, an aggregate of reviews from published critics, showed only 35% reviewed it favorably.
- Matt Zoller Seitz of The New York Times said, "What's unexpected and gratifying ... is the film's enlightened attitude toward parenthood and work, which the movie's publicity campaign conspicuously glosses over, even though it’s the story's driving force ... Make no mistake: No Reservations is a factory-sealed romantic comedy ... But the emotional details of Kate, Nick and Zoe’s journey are surprising, honest and life-size, and the film’s determination to present their predicament sympathetically, without appealing to retrograde ideals of femininity and motherhood, makes it notable, and in some ways unique."
- Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times stated, "The movie is focused on two kinds of chemistry: of the kitchen, and of the heart. The kitchen works better, with shots of luscious-looking food, arranged like organic still lifes. But chemistry among Nick, Kate and Zoe is curiously lacking, except when we sense some fondness—not really love—between Zoe and her potential new dad ... the characters seem to feel more passion for food than for each other."
- Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times called the film "one of those movies that presents life precisely and meticulously as it isn't, presumably as some kind of consolation for how it really is" and added, "With its simplistic compartmentalization of dueling personality types, kindergarten view of grown-up love, exquisite styling, overripe camera moves and lousy, overwrought score, the movie feels stubbornly, resolutely disingenuous and one-dimensional. Everything in it is designed to make you feel better, so why does it feel artificial and palliative in that really depressing way?"
- Todd McCarthy of Variety observed, "Agreeably prepared and attractively presented, this remake of the tasty 2001 German feature Mostly Martha bears too many earmarks of Hollywood packaging and emotional button-pushing, but doesn't go far wrong by closely sticking to the original's smart story construction ... Scott Hicks' work cuts both ways, creating a warm cocoon that fosters engagement with the well-drawn characters while at the same time steering the material in softer-than-necessary directions and refraining from peeking any deeper into the main characters to suggest what makes them tick. Without question, Ratatouille deals more profoundly with the personality makeup and urges of a driven chef-as-artist than does this genial divertissement."
No Reservations was released in 2,425 theaters in the US on July 27, 2007 and earned $11,704,357 and ranked fifth on its opening weekend. The film eventually grossed $43,107,979 in the US and $49,493,071 in foreign markets for a total worldwide box office of $92,601,050.
Awards and nominations
Abigail Breslin was nominated for the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film by a Leading Young Actress for her performance as Zoe.
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The films of Scott Hicks 1970sThe Wanderer (1974) • Down the Wind (1975) (with Kim McKenzie) 1980sFreedom (1982) • Sebastian and the Sparrow (1988) 1990s 2000sHearts in Atlantis (2001) • No Reservations (2007) • Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (2007) • The Boys Are Back (2009)
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