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No Reservations

The side dishes make the feast
By TOM MEEK  |  July 24, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for No Reservations.

Scott Hicks’s loose remake of the 2001 German hit, Mostly Martha, might feature Catherine Zeta-Jones as the main entrée, but the film’s side dishes — its outstanding ensemble cast — make the feast. Zeta-Jones brings complexity and conviction to brassy New York City chef Kate Armstrong, whose job running the kitchen at a chi-chi midtown eatery totally occupies her life. This changes when her sister dies in an accident and Kate is given charge of her newly orphaned niece, Zoe (Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin). Meanwhile, the business-minded restaurateur (Patricia Clarkson) brings in a gonzo sous chef (Aaron Eckhart) to help in the kitchen. As expected, a clash of culinary style and a spark of romance ensue. Hicks, who directed Shine, overplays the sentiment. But the give-and-take among the three leads and the scenes of Kate talking to her shrink (Bob Balaban) take the cake.
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