Feisty chef Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) cares for her niece Zoe ("Little Miss Sunshine" Oscar-nominee Abigail Breslin) after the girl's mother is killed. At work, Kate clashes/flirts with the new sous chef Nick (Aaron Eckhart).
Big question: Is this remake of the German film "Mostly Martha" better than Kate Hudson's similarly plotted "Raising Helen," which, coincidentally, also starred Breslin?
Catch it: Breslin, that little thief, steals another average movie from her elders, with eyes that exude immense joy as well as skepticism that all but mutter, "You must be joking." Thankfully, Eckhart's more charm than smarm.
Skip it: If you've already seen the feast for the senses that is "Ratatouille," your foodie-flick palate has been raised to an unfair level. "No Reservations" is a mere skirt steak to Pixar's filet mignon.
Bottom line: Likable without pushing its luck, "No Reservations" feels like the old-standby restaurant that you don't mind frequenting. The ingredients aren't the freshest, but the entrées go down easy.
Bonus: Kate claims that, "There's no greater sin than to overcook a quail." So feel free to do whatever you want all the time, as long as you don't burn the bird!
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by Scott Hicks; screenplay by Carol Fuchs, based on the screenplay "Mostly Martha" by Sandra Nettelbeck; photographed by Stuart Dryburgh; edited by Pip Karmel; music by Philip Glass; production design by Barbara Ling; produced by Kerry Heysen and Sergio Aguero. A Warner Bros. Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:45. MPAA rating: PG (for some sensuality and language).
Kate - Catherine Zeta-Jones
Nick - Aaron Eckhart
Zoe - Abigail Breslin
Paula - Patricia Clarkson
Therapist - Bob BalabanCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times