‘No Reservations’ movie review: undercooked rom-com lacks flavor

A rather bland and unimaginative remake of Sandra Nettelbeck´s 2001 Mostly MarthaNo Reservations marks a large disappointment from director Scott Hicks (Shine).

Catherine Zeta-Jones stars as Kate, head chef at an upscale Manhattan restaurant whose life is altered by the death of her sister – as Kate becomes the guardian of her young daughter Zoe.

Boss Patricia Clarkson orders Kate to take some time off; when she returns, she finds new chef Nick (Aaron Eckhart) crowding her kitchen.

The two start off as enemies, but of course Eckhart and Zeta-Jones play off each nicely as competing chefs, but have absolutely no chemistry together – and their romance is awkwardly handled in this timid PG movie that feels destined to appeal to no one.

Full of ‘Hollywood´ moments – such as Kate slamming a raw steak in front of a difficult customer who wanted it rare, or Zoe getting upset and running through Manhattan traffic (has this ever happened in real life?) – that starkly contrast with the more realistic nature of the screenplay.

Excellent original score by Philip Glass should have carried the film, but instead is limited to fleeting ‘dramatic´ moments as pop tunes and Pavarotti overtake the happier moments in the movie.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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