No Reservations

Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: Catherine Zeta Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson

Director: Scott Hicks

You know exactly what to expect with this one – a feel-good, modern American romance. Effectively a re-make of the European film BELLA MARTHA (or MOSTLY MARTHA) from 2001, which was written and directed by Sandra Nettelbeck, the action has been transposed to New York and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s slightly sentimental, but has the added bonus of lots of tasty looking food popping up regularly on screen.

Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is an obsessive chef at the exclusive 22 Bleecker Street restaurant in Manhattan with no life. Until she is put in the position of looking after her niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin) through unfortunate circumstances, and faced with wacky new sous-chef Nick at work, who, of course, has the opposite working style to hers. The pair clash in the kitchen but when romance sparks it takes them both by surprise. Can their fiery relationship survive in the heat of the kitchen?

The performance of both leads is fine but it’s Abigail Breslin (who was both Oscar and BAFTA-nominated for LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) who steals the film as Kate’s niece Zoe. This film is probably at the upper end of the scale for remakes – I can’t claim to have seen the original, but this one does certainly seem worthy on its own – so that counts for something.

4 out of 6 stars

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