Director: Scott Hicks, Writers: Carol Fuchs & Sandra Nettelbeck, Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, & Abigail Breslin.
Wow, the most romantic movie I’ve seen in a long time. No Reservations is not a romantic comedy, it’s too heavy for that, though there is humor. Catherine Zeta-Jones is Kate, head chef in a small fancy restaurant in New York City. Her single-mother sister dies leaving Kate a ten-year old girl to raise. When she returns to her restaurant after some time off to adjust, Nick (Aaron Eckhart also in The Dark Knight) has been hired on. She is an obsessive, uptight, perfectionist. He is, of course, a more relaxed personality, but not a slob.
Though you pretty much know how the movie is going to end, you wonder how they are going to get there. That’s the fun of romance movies, right? Fireworks don't necessarily fly between the leads, but that makes it seem even more real-to-life. He is interested in her, she is satisfied with the life she has, but two adults grow fond of each other and make it work.
Wonderful acting all around, especially by Abigail Breslin as Zoe, the ten-year old. Thankfully, she isn’t precocious and annoying showing the adults how it’s done.
The camera work was interesting. Lots of medium- to long-shots instead of the constant medium-shots to close-ups we seem to get currently. I guess if you were shooting Catherine Zeta-Jones, showing the whole body would be a desirable thing to do. Some of the shots still felt claustrophobic though (perhaps because of the long shot), especially inside her apartment. The make-up was good too. A few scenes where Kate is worn to a frizz, she looks it. She's not still glowing but just walking head-hanging and slope-shouldered as stars frequently appear.
For those of you concerned about morals in your movies, there were only a few minor cuss words and other than implied pre-marital sex, there really isn’t anything to offend.
I fully recommend this movie, though be aware there is a strain of sadness running through it with the death of the sister and the effect that has on her daughter. Dare I say, that is more realistic than to just ignore the pain and loss.