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No Reservations (2007)

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The life of a top chef changes when she becomes the guardian of her young niece.

Director:

Scott Hicks

Writers:

Carol Fuchs (screenplay), Sandra Nettelbeck (screenplay "Mostly Martha")
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Kate
Aaron Eckhart ... Nick
Abigail Breslin ... Zoe
Patricia Clarkson ... Paula
Jenny Wade ... Leah
Bob Balaban ... Therapist
Brían F. O'Byrne ... Sean
Lily Rabe ... Bernadette
Eric Silver Eric Silver ... John
Arija Bareikis ... Christine
John McMartin ... Mr. Peterson
Celia Weston ... Mrs. Peterson
Zoë Kravitz ... Charlotte
Matthew Rauch ... Ken
Dearbhla Molloy ... Anna
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Storyline

A master chef, Kate, lives her life like she runs the kitchen at upscale 22 Bleecker Restaurant in Manhattan--with a no-nonsense intensity that both captivates and intimidates everyone around her. With breathtaking precision, she powers through each hectic shift, coordinating hundreds of meals, preparing delicate sauces, seasoning and simmering each dish to absolute perfection. Written by AhmadMob

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something's Cooking This Summer See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Kojo | Warner Bros [France] | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 July 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Scott Hicks Film See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,704,357, 29 July 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$43,107,979

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,601,050
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Philip Glass: The film's score composer can be seen sitting at an outdoor table at the Bistro near the end of the film. See more »

Goofs

While playing Monopoly, Kate was excited to land on Free Parking when according to official Monopoly rules, there is no reward for landing on the space; however, it is a widely accepted house rule in most circles that there is, in fact, a generous cash prize for landing on Free Parking. See more »

Quotes

Therapist: Why do you come to see me every week?
Kate: My boss said she'd fire me if I didn't get therapy.
Therapist: Why do you think, she thinks you need therapy? Why?
Kate: You know what, I haven't the faintest idea
See more »


Soundtracks

Carpe Diem
Written by Jethro Heysen-Hicks, Adam Badenoch, Sam Knight and Anna Bishop
Performed by Arcadia
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lugubrious Hybrid of the Food Network and Lifetime Makes for an Attractive But Bland Movie
14 September 2008 | by EUyeshimaSee all my reviews

Despite what I recall of the advertising campaign last year, this soft-hearted 2007 film is far less a Food Network-derived romantic comedy than a Lifetime-oriented drama about grief and work/life balance. Directed by Scott Hicks ("Shine") and written by first-timer Carol Fuchs, this film offers the most insightful peek into the workings of an upscale Manhattan restaurant since 2000's "Dinner Rush" (i.e., if you don't count last year's CGI-generated, French food-fest, "Ratatouille"), but it also seems intent in splintering the story between the romantic sparks between the co-stars and the unexpected relationship that a single aunt forms with her orphaned niece. The result is heartwarming but rather diluted considering the potential inherent in the material presented. Hicks and Fuchs also seem intent on inserting predictable clichés along the way to reinforce the formulaic approach taken with the story.

Basically a remake of the 2001 German comedy, "Mostly Martha", the plot centers on perfectionist chef Kate who runs a tightly efficient kitchen in a chic SoHo bistro. As a resolute overachiever, she is able to get up before dawn to get to the fish market and stay late at the restaurant making her impeccably presented dishes until closing. So tightly wound is Kate that restaurant owner Paula forces her to see a therapist to address her supposedly difficult personality. This is the first of several disconnects I had with the film as Kate strikes me as demanding but not particularly abusive to her staff. Regardless, her life is turned upside down by the sudden death of her sister and the addition of her niece Zoe to her structured life. As if that wasn't enough, Paula has hired Nick, a rowdy opera-loving sous-chef, to partner with Kate as she struggles with her personal transition at home. Taking a number from the Tracy-Hepburn manual for romantic comedy, tempers flare as do sparks. Zoe's recovery from her mother's death becomes a complicating factor, but the rest of the story plays out basically how you would presume.

More interesting in edgier, less sympathetic roles, Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the icier aspects of her role well, but she is markedly less arresting when her character turns warm and gooey. The script also doesn't really respect her character much since she is made to look overly foolish and insensitive in her early scenes as a struggling mother figure. Aaron Eckhart seems to be playing more of a plot device as Nick, but he does it well, and the requisite sparks occur with Zeta-Jones. Cornering the market on playing put-upon children, Abigail Breslin is fine as Zoe, even though she has to be glumly depressed for much of the film. The usually more dimensional Patricia Clarkson plays Paula as a surprisingly brittle, opportunistic character, while Bob Balaban isn't given much to do at all as Kate's therapist but act as a bromide. Stuart Dryburgh's autumnal cinematography makes all the food look good, the stars as well, and minimalist composer Philip Glass, of all people, provided the unobtrusive soundtrack dominated by Puccini, Verdi, and Flotow arias. The most significant bonus item on the 2008 DVD is a twenty-minute episode of the Food Network's "Unwrapped" which includes interviews with the film's stars and the real chefs who concocted the dishes in the movie.


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