Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Reservations (2007) Review:

There are good and bad romantic comedies. Thankfully, this plays out well. It just has some things that should have been tweaked before being released to theatres. The central problem is how the screenplay was written. It just doesn't allow the main character to develop enough until it is really late in the film. Along with this are some other unnecessary set backs that will be addressed as well. The issue is that, altogether, these factors make this film not as funny as it should be and that's why it needs improvement.

Zoe (Abigail Breslin)
Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Kate, a stressed, workaholic chef that has no time for anyone but herself, or so she thinks. Why? Little does she realize, she will inherit her niece, Zoe, acted out by Abigail Breslin. Zoe loses her mother to a fatal car accident, so now it is up to Kate to take care of her, and that's not all. Kate soon finds out that she has a new co-worker, named Nick, who is performed by actor Aaron Eckhart. Little does Kate know but these two individuals will help relieve her of her problems. The problem; Kate is very thick headed and does not see this.

The personality of Kate is very sarcastic and it’s not a good sarcastic. There are two types of sarcasm: funny and snotty sarcasm. Kate's sarcasm is snotty and when it comes down to comedy, Kate's wisecracks are a hit or miss. There were times where she overreacted to situations and I looked at the screen saying, "Lady, it's not a big deal". As for the character of Zoe, at first she makes Kate feel uncomfortable because she's still traumatized that her mother won't be returning to Earth any time soon. But once Zoe meets Nick, she starts to turn the other cheek.

Eckhart's character trying to warm up Jones' character.....
unfortunately...this takes FOREVER.
What's great about the role Eckhart plays, is that he is the driving force that makes this film worth the while watching. Almost every line that Nick says in this film is upbeat and energetic. Of course, guess who puts out the fire - Kate. It's unfortunate because Nick tries really hard to earn Kate's trust and it takes Kate a long time to break down her walls. I think it's something the screenwriters should have noticed; Kate's attitude took too long of a time to change course.

Adding to this  is the element of Zoe's mother. I can understand why Zoe would be distraught from the beginning, but I do not understand why it was need to be inserted again much later in the film. What does this accomplish? All it does is bring the audience back to the sad, mournful feeling that was felt back in the start of the movie. This film is supposed to gradually get better over time, not get better for a while and sink back down again! That's just playing with the audience's emotions and it gets annoying after a while.

Two final aspects that I did enjoy about this film was the food and music. I know it sounds silly, but because most of this film takes place in a kitchen, a lot of the things that will be observed is professionally made food. So much of it is appetizing to look at alone! At one point, I wanted to have one of the platters served to me while I watched the film. As for music, Philip Glass composed the score, with several other artist soundtracks inserted as well, i.e. Michael Bublé and Luciano Pavarotti. But what I like about Glass' score is how it evokes the emotions so easily. It truly has a poignant tune of its own.

Overall No Reservations has good intentions but its "up and down" screenplay is emotionally unbalanced, making it difficult for the audience to feel the same way the characters do. Adding to the frustration is Zeta-Jones' character who takes forever to take the step in the positive direction.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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