No Reservations Movie Poster Image

No Reservations

(i)

 

Bland-but-sweet dramedy more for adult palates.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: February 11, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kate learns that having personal connections is even more important than her thriving career.

Violence

No violence, but there's a disturbing scene of a bruised Zoe on a hospital bed.

Sex

Kate and Nick kiss passionately, and he spends the night, but there's no actual love scene. Paula flirts with Nick; Bernadette mentions a customer who keeps staring at her breasts and later thanks Nick for suggesting she listen to Pavarotti during sex.

Language

Just the out-of-place words "asshole" and "tits."

Consumerism

Croc clogs, the board game Operation

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Diners drink wine at the restaurant and the waiters discuss wine selections at their staff meetings. Kate gets tipsy after a wine-filled dinner with Nick.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this romantic comedy has some serious themes, like the death of a single parent and an aunt who must care for her orphaned niece. Although it's rated PG and stars popular child actress Abigail Breslin, the film's protagonist, an emotionally withdrawn chef who doesn't have any healthy relationships, is not going to seem compelling to most kids. The dramedy also perpetuates the idea that ambitious, professionally successful women all have lonely personal lives. Still, at its heart, this is the typical odd-couple romantic movie with a little girl thrown in to stir the pot.

What's the story?

In NO RESERVATIONS, type-A chef Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is all business and the talk of Manhattan. But at home, Kate's a mess. Her sister unexpectedly dies, and suddenly Kate's the guardian of her young niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin). Kate's so clueless she tries to feed Zoe a whole steamed fish -- whole fish, with head and milky eye intact -- instead of the fish sticks the girl would prefer. But soon enough Nick (Aaron Eckhart), with his Italian flair for cranking up arias and making the kitchen staff sing along, wins over Zoe with a plate of good ole spaghetti marinara. With Zoe playing Cupid, she hooks her aunt up, and the odd-couple chefs start rubbing off on each other -- he becomes more ambitious and she more laid back.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

There's romance in but not the kind you would expect from a Hollywood romantic comedy. The emotional connection between Kate and the cuisine she artfully creates is entertaining and satisfying. But Kate's slow-but-predictable relationship with the restaurant's carefree new sous chef Nick is less exciting than watching the many close-ups of haute cuisine. These may be attractive Hollywood actors, but they lack convincing chemistry.

Although director Scott Hicks couldn't coax a magical spark out of his leads, he does a fine job of showing how food, especially beautifully prepared food, can be a sensuous delight. And while the movie's lesson -- about letting your hair down once in a while to go with the flow -- is trite, it's also familiar and sweet.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between personal and professional success. How was Kate successful in one way but not the other? What did her kitchen employees think of her, and how did they react to Nick's work style? What did Zoe and Kate learn from each other?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 27, 2007
DVD release date:February 11, 2008
Cast:Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Director:Scott Hicks
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Comedy
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some sensuality and language.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old September 27, 2009

B-O-R-I-N-G!

One word. B-O-R-I-N-G! This movie is EXACTLY like any other romantic comedy and is really pointless and a waste of time! Why did I even see this movie?
Teen, 14 years old Written bydicapriofreak94 September 13, 2010
Barely any swearing, just one scene of slight sexual content. This was a very sweet, romantic movie.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byaidanqm1996 September 9, 2009

Sad, but sweet

Loved the movie. Partially, because I love to cook, and mostly it's because the movie was so well made.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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