Movie review in the Friday, July 27 Oregonian....
Hey -- it's time for yet another Hollywood movie where a career-minded person is punished for working too hard!
(Given the single-mindedness of the average filmmaker, I always wonder if the message in these movies -- "Tone down your ambition! Play hooky! Achieve 'balance,' whatever that is! Worship the children!" -- is Tinseltown's way of pulling the ladder up behind itself.)
Anyway. "No Reservations" is a remake of the 2001 German hit "Mostly Martha." It concerns a humorless master chef (Catherine Zeta-Jones) whose tightly controlled kitchen is disrupted when she adopts her orphaned niece (Abigail Breslin). Then a wacky new sous chef (Aaron Eckhart) disrupts it further by singing opera! And smirking!
This might actually generate some romantic heat if "No Reservations" weren't just one big "meh"-inducing blah. Zeta-Jones' character is a cipher. The romance is boring. Everything is blandly good-looking. The emotional beats are so programmed, you can predict the entrance of every single note of Philip Glass' dirge of a score. And the title means nothing beyond its pun.
C-minus103 minutes; rated PG for some sensuality and language.
'No Reservations' (The Oregonian, July 27, 2007)