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No Reservations (2007)

No Reservations. Feature film. (2007, 104 mins) IMDB

...I so much wanted to like this film but couldn't...

T

his film had two things I like a great deal: romance and cooking, but they didn't come together for me in this film. I think I know why. The female lead doesn't strike me as a romantic leading lady. That's just me. I also found the story line stale and uninteresting.

Our hero lives in NYC working at a fine dining restaurant where she is the chef and dictator. Everything about her life is about cooking. Nothing else seems to matter. No children. No relationships.

Then her life is kicked apart. Her sister and niece travel to visit her but before they arrive, there's an accident. The mother dies and little Zoe has to live with her aunt. Our hero struggles to include a new person into her life but what follows is so predictable as to be boring.

To add even more complications to our hero's life, her sous-chef is pregnant and leaves work. Enter a new sous-chef played by Eckhart. While our hero is serious and dour, he's the exact opposite. She meets him working in her kitchen while Italian opera plays. Of course he sings along. Haven't we've seen this before? He's carefree and relaxed and a good cook. Let the romance begin.

Bit by bit he cracks away the salt layers until she realizes she's in love with him. But that can't last. At least at the end of Act II where their rivalry in the kitchen gets in the way and they split. It's temporary.

The niece runs away and our hero goes looking for her. She has to call him in to help in the search and through this process they are brought back together.

I wanted to like this film greatly, but it didn't happen. The conflict is weak. The characters and events pedestrian. It's a TV movie made to appear like a feature film and it isn't.

Posted 2009/05/02 at 20h28ET in Movie Commentary.

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