No Reservations (2007) Review

Verdict: Typical

Good acting, but typical story.


Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the head chef at an upscale restaurant, and likes things done her way. However, while she can control what happens in her kitchen, she takes a tumble when life hands her guardianship of her niece, Zoe (Abigail Breslin). Not knowing how to raise a child, they start off to a rocky start, and only with the help of Nick (Aaron Exkhart) does Zoe start to eat again. Directed by Scott Hicks.

At first glance, this is a pretty standard rom-com drama. Woman has trouble finding love, is in distress, and a man comes in and saves the day. Blah blah. The first glance is all there is to it. Therein lies the problem though. These rom-coms are all perpetuating the norm of heterosexual relationships, and the concept of the nuclear family. Woman can succeed at work, but cannot have an equally successful love life. A man has to come to the rescue.

This interpretation¬†generally found in rom-coms has really opened my eyes when watching any film, as I have realized that an uncountable number of films follow this ideology. Especially since they’re all coming from Hollywood. I’m not saying that this film was terrible; it’s actually quite enjoyable, but once you realize the underlying ideology, it gets tiresome to watch.

Zeta-Jones does a good job as the perfectionist chef who needs everything done her way. Eckhart is charming and the chemistry between them is solid. Breslin is a great actor, and does well in family type roles. She has a talent for making the audience sympathize with her, and is definitely one to keep an eye out for.

I’m also glad that the ‘rom’ in this rom-com wasn’t that heavily emphasized. Though it is definitely one of the main factors, it’s good to see that the family part was slightly more hard hitting than the romantic aspect of the film. As well, screenplay is quite comedic, especially in scenes with the Therapist (played by Bob Balaban).

Overall, a pretty enjoyable film, but a tiresome ideology.

To sum-up:
PROS: Acting, some comedy, family theme
CONS: Nuclear family ideology

I give this a 7/10.

Have you seen No Reservations? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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