Valentine Marathon: No Reservations (2007)

Next up in the Valentine Marathon is another little movie with a lovely actress that I haven’t watched in a while, Catherine Zeta-Jones.  I’ve never even heard of this one until it popped up on Netflix.  When you put rom-com, food/cooking and a fine cast together, there is no question how this one, No Reservations, ended up on my rundown.

Let’s check it out! 🙂


no reservations

Director: Scott Hicks

Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson, Jenny Wade, Bob Balaban, Brian F. O’Byrne

 Kate is one of the best chefs in town running the kitchen at 22 Bleecker Restaurant in Manhattan. She lives by a set of rules and her life is the restaurant neglecting everything else that she needs.  Her boss, Paula (Patricia Clarkson) makes her go to therapy to hopefully ensure that she won’t offend any more clients.  However, when her sister has an accident, she is given the role to take care of her young niece, Zoe (Abigail Breslin). While she’s away, Paula hires an opera singing, Italian cuisine-inspired Nick (Aaron Eckhart) to help out in the kitchen. Somehow, Nick makes her throw her rulebook out the window as she becomes more and more attracted to him.

No ReservationsI don’t know if it happens to other people but writing reviews for romantic comedies get a little challenging after writing a whole bunch.  A lot of times, its not so much to look at.  No Reservations was one that I enjoyed.  It was surprisingly fun to watch and although there was emphasis on food, the story itself was pretty formulaic and predictable.  I’m not saying thats a problem for me but that is a flaw that most romantic comedies tend to have.  Just being objective.  While it was an extremely simple story, the cast really made this a lot better than what it should be. Looking at the cast, can you doubt any of their skills? I’m not such a connoisseur of Catherine Zeta-Jones but she is a classy lady.  Aaron Eckhart has been an increasing favorite and lets not even get me started on my personal favorite of Abigail Breslin.  And although Patricia Clarkson has only supporting roles most times, I can’t remember one that I didn’t like.

no reservations

Whats a romantic comedy without talking about the chemistry of the leading man and lady? We’ve already established that the cast is what won me over in No Reservations.  Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the very uptight Kate and because of that, sometimes the things she says and does are pretty funny.  She’s not so good at dealing with people: not her therapist, not customers who criticize her food, or people who question her lead in the kitchen and especially not a little girl that she had to suddenly take on.  And thats how the balance of her when we see Aaron Eckhart’s Nick jump on screen, there’s a lot of funny moments.  Her issues are suddenly diminished because of his appearance even without her knowing it and when she does break out of her shell and takes life out of her kitchen and focuses on the more important things, her character becomes even more lovely to watch.

no reservations

Aaron Eckhart’s character, Nick is written pretty standard but somehow he adds a little flare and charm to it.  Who expects this guy who comes from Italian cuisine and Kate expects him to challenge her master chef position but in fact, he turns it around and shows her respect making her think that he wants to be there because he praises her cooking but still keeping his style.  He comes in singing opera and having the whole kitchen do it with him and then he’s the one that helps Kate convince and open up her niece’s appetite and then he kind of charms his way into her life by opening her eyes to the world outside of her rules. Aaron Eckhart has this rebellious charm always and anyone else with less presence on the screen with this role wouldn’t have had the same effect.

no reservations

If we talk child actresses, Abigail Breslin in her younger roles always took my heart away.  She is not only adorable but she has this strong character that makes her really fun to watch.  Plus, she knows how to use those emotions and capture a role.  In here, she’s a little girl who loses her mother suddenly and is forced to live with her aunt who really doesn’t understand her really well, nor does she actually care enough and doesn’t even seem to make that much effort.  Zoe’s role in this is the bridge to Kate and Nick’s relationship and the little adventures that Nick and Zoe have are absolutely fun to watch: making pizzas and pancakes and making a pretty boring and routine lifestyle that Kate leads into something with a lot more excitement.

Overall, No Reservations is a romantic comedy that took me by surprise and it was a pleasant surprise.  I might not remember it or run out to add it to my collection right away but it gave me a few laughs here and there.  Aaron Eckhart and Catherine Zeta-Jones brought on a really sweet chemistry and Abigail Breslin made me smile because she was so lovable and adorable to watch.  Its a little formulaic and predictable but somehow this somehow charmed me 🙂

Have you seen No Reservations? What are you thoughts on Aaron Eckhart/Catherine Zeta-Jones/Abigail Breslin? Do you have any favorite movies with them?

Genre Grandeur – Erin Brockovich (2000)

Check out my review for Movierob’s Genre Grandeur for Biopics. One of my favorite is the story of Erin Brokovich directed by Steven Soderbergh and played by Julia Roberts in one of the best roles I’ve seen her in.
Next month’s Genre Grandeur is themed with 80’s action flicks. If you have a favorite that you want to review, remember to send a review over to Rob and join in on the fun 🙂 Also, remember to check out the other biopic faves that other bloggers have reviewed!


For our next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Biopics, here’s a review of Erin Brockovich by Kim of Tranquil Dreams.

Next month’s Genre chosen by Kieron of What About the Twinkie? is 80’s action flicks, so send me the review of your favorite film in that genre by 25th Nov to and I’ll post it.

Take it away Kim!


erin brockovich poster

Before we start the the write-up, I’m really not much of a biopics person. So, my repertoire is not huge. If it has historical value, I may possibly have fallen asleep through it. Don’t say that I haven’t tried because I do own a few, I just never really make it past the 30 minutes point. However, when I do make it through, I take it that its done a good job, regardless of how accurate the movie portrayal is. I never go back to cross reference…

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Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Gerard Butler? Where have you gone? It seems like the last time I even heard Gerard Butler was in How To Train A Dragon.  In real life movies, it must be Gamer or Law Abiding Citizen.  I know he did a rom-com with Jessica Biel and I hate Biel so I won’t be giving that one a shot.  But, I do love myself some Gerard Butler. He is an amazing man and I’m glad to see him doing some action flicks.  I hope this means there’s more to come. Despite the not very enthusiastic reviews, lets check out Olympus Has Fallen.

olympus has fallen posterDirector: Antoine Fuqua

Cast: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Finley Jacobson, Rick Yune, Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett

After an accident that caused the death of the president’s wife, former presidential security Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is sent to do a desk job.  When a sudden attack on the White House occurs, he rushes back in and gets trapped inside.  With all the communication cut except the terrorists and his own and president and the most important politicians kidnapped, he is asked by Mr. Speaker Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), who also sits in as President to help them figure out who the terrorists are, save the President’s son Connor (Finley Jacobson) and especially rescue the President (Aaron Eckhart) before anything worse happens.

You know, I have the research thing where before I write up my review I like to check the scores on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB just gauge if we’re on the same page or I’m just the ridiculous person who knows nothing because I’m the total opposite.  Either way, my reason for talking about this is that, well, I’m looking at the summaries and everyone says Mike Banning is trapped.  Not really, right? He kind of moved his butt from his chair in the office and ran towards the White House and then had that gun fight and then made his way to get some gear and shoot those terrorists down.  Maybe I missed something, I have been ridiculously busy and it was a break that lasted longer that I had initially wanted. With that out, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.  Its not so much Die Hard level but the concept is there.  Its held up by an awesome cast and aside from some not so up to date CGI, it was still pretty fun to watch. I’m obviously not going to critique this movie has harshly as say something more deep, because its supposed to be simply entertaining and I was entertained.  So much that I almost forgot to go back to study…

olympus has fallen gerard butler

I’ve been a fan of Gerard Butler since forever. The reason you don’t see me talking about it as much is well, I haven’t reviewed any of his movies yet.  I own  a lot of them but I just haven’t wanted to put one into the Blu-ray yet.  As much as he is attractive and charming and I love his accent, I love him best as a tough guy kicking some ass. In this one, he was all of the. Please do more action flicks, Gerard. I promise the next one I’ll go see it in the theatres.  But, just lay off on the rom-coms, okay?

olympus has fallen morgan freeman

Okay, back on track. I’m not crazy. Its just nice to have imaginary talks with actors and make a deal with myself to keep supporting them. Now, next up is a man that can do no wrong. I’ve mentioned it in Now You See Me HERE and I say it again, Morgan Freeman is one of those actors who can do everything, every role, no matter big or small. His expressions and emotions are just awesome. I don’t even know how to elaborate on his greatness. The next supporting actor was Aaron Eckhart. I’m sure all of you have more exposure to his stuff than me.  I mean, I’ve only seen him in Erin Brockovich and Dark Knight. Still, I really think he isn’t a decent actor. Nothing wow yet, but he’s good. Same goes for this. He does a good president, I think.

olympus has fallen aaron eckhart

As much as supporting is important for any movie, in these sort of silly shoot ’em up action flicks, the bad guys are the main ones to look for. I mean, Die Hard wouldn’t have been so epic without Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, right? Right! Glad you agree 😉 so, here, our baddie is Rick Yune who plays Kang. I think he stands up for the people of North Korea and he’s an international terrorist that all the government organizations are looking for but no one has seen his lovely face. Honestly, I didn’t find the man very threatening, so whether he is effective as a bad guy, well, not really?  But the man can fight and he and Gerard Butler had a good fight scene.

olympus has fallen bad guy

Overall, I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse but I can’t deny that aside from some bad effects and a rather predictable course of events, it does hold up some decent brainless action-filled entertainment with explosions and guns. Gerard Butler channelled his tough guy act in an awesome way.  I liked it and well, if you like this sort of thing, you know, shutting off your mind and watching a fun movie, this could be a good choice.

Now I really want to check out White House Down to see if Channing Tatum can hold up against this! 🙂

Did you see Olympus Has Fallen? Did you like it? What do you think of Gerard Butler?