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No Reservations (DVD)

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Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Parental Guidance / Director: Scott Hicks / Actors: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson, Jenny Wade ... / DVD released 2008-01-28 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    10 Reviews
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      23.04.2012 23:32
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      A nice film for romantics

      ~Plot~
      A top Manhattan chef's life is turned around when she becomes the guardian of her young niece. Kate is set for a steep learning curve trying to juggle her demanding job with looking after her grieving niece Zoe. Things become even more complicated when her boss hires another chef to ease the pressure on her. Shy and retiring Zoe seems to take to the newly hired chef and as much as she tries to resist the feeling, it seems that Kate does too.

      ~Cast~
      Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart are the main characters while Abigail Breslin plays Zoe. I'm not a fan of CZJ but in this film I can put up with her. Aaron Eckhart is charming in the role of Nick and it took me ages to realise that he's the long haired biker from Erin Brockovich. Abigail Breslin is once again excellent, it's hard to think that she's so young and yet has so many films under her belt.

      ~My Thoughts~
      To be honest I'd never heard of this film until I saw it for £2 in Smiths so I thought well for that price I'll grab it. I think it's one of those films that's somewhat gone under the radar. I was pleasantly surprised because it is actually an alright film, despite being predictable because there isn't particularly much to the plot. Not one I'd go out of my way to watch, but it's good enough if there's nothing else to watch.

      ~Soundtrack~
      All of the music in the film is opera as this is what Nick likes to play in the kitchen while working.

      ~Other Stuff~
      Released in 2007
      Running Time: 104 minutes
      Age Certificate: PG
      Available for £2.79 (Amazon 23/04/12)

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      27.06.2010 19:53
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      love, friendship, family - love it!

      A remake of the 2001 german film 'Mostly Martha' where romance comes to life...in a kitchen, where love happen any time of the day.

      Kate is an over-hard working chef in a restaurant called 'Bleecker restaurant' in New York. Kate loves her job as a chef, but her boss believes that she over working and her boss decides that she need therapy but she sent to her therapist every week and her therapist asks 'why?' Kate answers 'My boss said she'd fire me'. This is the last thing Kate wants to happen. One day, heartbreaking news occurs while she is at work, her ten year old niece, Zoe and her sister have been in a car accident, Kate rushes to the hospital, Zoe is still breathing and alive, but her sister didn't pull through. As Kate has no contact with Zoe's dad, she has to bring Zoe up herself. Kate takes time off to grieve over her sister and look after Zoe, a new chef is in Kate's place - a chef who loves Italian and opera singing named Nick. Zoe judges him and wants him out so she can win her place back. Can she do it though? Has Kate's life changed forever? Find out in this heart-warming romantic love story about family, friendship, talent and love in the most strangest place ever.

      cast

      Kate: Catherine Zeta Jones
      Nick: Aaron Eckhart
      Zoe: Abigail Breslin
      Paula: Patricia Clarkson
      Leah: Jenny Wade
      Therapist: Bob Balaban
      Sean: Brian F O'Byrne
      Bernadette: Lily Rabe
      Zoe Kravitz : Charlotte

      certificate: PG
      director : Scott Hicks
      release date: 31st August 2007 (theatre)
      run time: 104 minutes

      Person overview: I loved this film and it's actually one of my favourites and I could watch it anywhere at any time! I love the story, genres and it's a great film either with a partner or your friends! So watch it! You'll love it!

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      08.03.2010 17:13
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      Definitely worth a few quid

      Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin star in this romantic comedy about parenting, grief, work and ... food!

      Plot: Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Kate, a successful chef whose working life is completely controlled but whose personal life is devoid of meaning. When her sister dies unexpectedly she is left to look after her niece Zoe and juggle Zoe's needs, her work and her attractive sous-chef Nick.

      The plot is slightly deeper than you might expect, as it deals with grief, family and careers. There are a few teary bits, and the relationship between Kate and Zoe plays out in quite a sweet way. The acting is poor in places, especially Zeta-Jones and her clearly phony American accent. The soundtrack was my favourite thing about it I think - lots of opera and Paolo Conte singing Via Con Me (S'Wonderful).

      Overall, this is a fun film to watch more than once, if you can put up with Catherine Zeta-Jones' accent, and you'll go away singing Via Con Me (chips, chips!).

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      23.02.2010 18:37
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      A film full of charm and happy endings!

      FILM ONLY REVIEW

      Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart star in this film about pride, love, loss, and most of all wonderful food! No Reservations could have been cliched and messy, but it has been very well put together and is an enjoyable film to watch as well as being beautifully told. The film-makers have succeeded in not letting the sad elements to the story overcome the general air of it, which is therefore cheerful and triumphant. It is the story of three people whose lives become interwoven: a cold master chef Kate (Zeta-Jones), her bereaved niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin), and the unpredictable sous-chef Nick (Eckhart). The film tells the simple story of how they become each other's refuge, with a humorous and romantic tone.

      The thing that strikes you the most when watching the film is its simple charm; from the well chosen bouncy songs that make up the musical score, to the scriptless chemistry between happy-go-lucky Nick and the sad little girl who prefers fish fingers to foie gras. Although No Reservations has a sad beginning, and it never feels like it could possibly work out, the characters triumph, and it makes the ending all the more delightful.

      The acting is a possible weakness of the film, with Zeta-Jones' American accent dubious, and Eckhart's and Breslin's characters occasionally unconvincing; however, this doesn't cast a shadow over an otherwise excellent film, and is a credit to the film-makers, rather.

      Something in this film that deserves special note is the consideration paid to the food presentation. There was obviously a lot of respect from the film-makers towards master chefs' attention to detail, and they brought in a Michelin star awarded chef to teach the actors some tricks, and to ensure the meals looked authentic. The result is a film with a considerable amount of picture time devoted to the food, and makes the viewer understand the chefs' passion, and feel a little hungry too!

      Watch No Reservations right before tea time: it's an enchanting treat that can be enjoyed by everyone!

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        30.10.2009 17:32
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        No reservation needed....

        Having seen the trailer for this film several times while watching other DVDs, when I saw this film while mooching round last weeks car boot sale for the bargain price of 50p I thought I'd give it a whirl.

        Plot

        Kate (Catherine Zeta Jones) is one of New York's top chefs. She works hard and her job is her life. She's looking forward to her sister and niece visiting for the weekend, but tragically they are involved in a crash en route and her sister is killed leaving Kate in charge of her daughter Zoe. While Kate is struggling to balance her new role at home and her job, in comes Nick (Aaron Eckhart) , the new sous chef at the restaurant. While Kate is very focused on her job and demands respect in the kitchen, Nick is more happy go lucky and the kitchen team respond well to him which Kate doesn't like at all. He soon manages to charm Zoe, which leads Kate to see a different side to him.

        OPINION

        Well, I'm not really sure about this film, it's probably not something I'll be rushing to see again, but if it was on TV I'd probably watch it. I did like the acting from the two main characters, they complemented each other very well and Catherine Zeta Jones' American accent was very good. She managed to portray Kate very well, giving her a hard exterior, but allowing the audience to see behind the facade.

        Aaron Eckhart also played his part well. I always thought he was better as a baddie, but in this film her shows that he can turn his hand to romantic comedies too.

        Both actors had to do a lot of cooking and they pulled this off well. There were quite a lot of technical scenes involved and I thought it was all pretty believable. Watching the special features, they had a professional chef come in and teach them the basics and this really translates through to the screen.

        Zoe is played by Abigail Bresline who really shows a lot of emotional maturity in the film. The scenes at the beginning of the film where she has just lost her mother and played very well with just the right amount of grief without overacting at all. Very impressive for someone so young.

        Personally I give the film as a whole 3/5, although watchable, there was nothing that wonderful about it and the plot seemed to be a bit boring. I enjoyed the trailer, but the film just didn't live up to the trailer's promises.

        MAIN CAST

        Kate - Catherine Zeta-Jones
        Nick - Aaron Eckhart
        Zoe - Abigail Breslin

        DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

        - Unwrapped. A look behind the scenes of the film

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        27.08.2009 13:15
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        Worth watching!

        Film review only

        Kate (Catherine Zeta Jones) is head chef at a well renowned restaurant and is very much the perfectionist. She lives and breathes her job but is looking forward to her sister and niece coming to stay with her. Tragically her sister is killed in a car crash on her way to see her, and Kate becomes the full time carer of her niece Zoe. Overnight Kate's life and priorities have changed, and through her overwhelming grief has to find a way through. On top of that, after some time off from the restaurant a new sous-chef has started called Nick (Aaron Eckhart). He takes a bit of a different approach to cooking than Kate does - he's good but far more laid back and Kate doesn't like him one bit. But when he charms her niece she sees a different side to him.

        If you go into this film thinking it's all happy go lucky then prepared to be proven very wrong. This film is a drama with a couple of comedic moments thrown in but it's basically a drama. There are some very emotional scenes and anyone who has lost a close relative will be able to relate to the grief Kate and Zoe are contending with. Catherine Zeta Jones is actually very well cast here. Her American accent is strong and believable and her hard exterior to her character is placed well. Of course Kate goes through quite a journey and is quite a different person at the end of the film. This is to be expected though when family circumstances have changed so much. She loves her jobs, live for it even, and although the same is true at the end of the film, Kate realises than having family close by and perhaps a relationship is far better than cooking meals for one every night.

        There is a strong emphasis on the cooking side of things, the film shows how involved chefs get with their jobs and we see what goes on in the inside of a kitchen and how chefs really get a bus mans holiday when they get home because they're still cooking for themselves. Cooking seems to be a bit of a release for Kate and takes her mind away from the fact that she's alone with no one but herself in an empty apartment. Catherine Zeta Jones seemed to take this role in her stride, she was believable as a chef and her emotional scenes were done with great thought and precision.

        Aaron Eckhart as sous-chef Nick also plays a good role here. He's the counterpart for Kate's planned-by-the-minute life and throws some much needed perspective her way. He shows her how to live her life again and have fun - everything doesn't always have to be about work - and getting involved with your work certainly doesn't mean not being able to have fun with it. Aaron is quite well known for his drama roles and action roles and although this film has a bit of a romance film, this is a role he has played before and is good at it. He's a very watchable actor and never seems to falter.

        I should give a mention also to Abigail Bresline who plays Katie's niece Zoe - she is a very good young actress and manages to portray her grief very well as well as being able to act like a child where needed. I think she's a very promising young actress and she has had some notable roles since this one.

        I quite liked this film; it's very watchable with drama, sorrow, comedy and romance all there in equal parts. This film doesn't drag at just over an hour and half long, and the ending is satisfying. I would highly recommend this and at about a fiver on Play and Amazon and the usual places it's not going to break the bank either.

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        26.01.2009 16:42
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        A talented chef takes in her neice after her sister dies, but struggles as a surrogate mother.

        Director: Scott Hicks
        Screenplay: Carol Fuchs & Sandra Nettelbeck
        Genre: Romance - Drama - Comedy
        Country: USA
        Certification: PG
        Language: English
        Released: 28th January, 2008 (DVD)


        MAIN CAST:
        Catherine Zeta-Jones (Kate)
        Aaron Eckhart (Nick)
        Abigail Breslin (Zoe)
        Patricia Clarkson (Paula)
        Jenny Wade (Leah)
        Bob Balaban (Therapist)

        Kate is an extremely talented chef whose life revolves around food. She is anti-social towards those who would dare criticise her cooking, and wary of any relationship that might become serious. Therefore, afraid of commitment, she builds a wall around herself that has only enough room to accommodate her one passion - food.

        When her sister dies in a tragic road accident, Kate is forced to take in her sister's orphaned daughter, Zoe, who is in desperate need of affection and love. Kate, unable to give the child what she needs, attempts to win her over the only way she knows how - with food. Unfortunately, Zoe's tastes are not as refined as Kate's, and she refuses to eat anything Kate serves her.

        At a loss, Kate's inability to get close to her niece begins to affect not only her strict routine, but her life as well. When the owner of the restaurant hires another chef in order to help her, Kate is upset by the competition, and fears losing her job. The truth is, Kate lacks self-confidence, is afraid of relationships - and confronted by both, her life begins to crumble.

        'No Reservations' is a light-hearted attempt at drama that is neither compelling nor well-acted. Catherine Zeta-Jones is not at her best, and overlooks the intended depth of her character by focusing too much on the 'cooking' aspect of her role. She fails to draw sympathy from the viewer simply because she has not managed to 'become' her character. The result is a shallow and uninteresting character with an obsession for food, a lacklustre desire to take care of her niece, early-life issues that are not fully explored regardless of the 'psychiatrist' scenes, and a romantic interlude with her assistant chef that is as flat as a pancake - no pun intended.

        The storyline is extremely promising with endless possibilities - the potential for a heart-breaking drama, one that is bittersweet and memorable oozes from the script, but some of the actors fail to deliver the goods, and this causes the movie to drag. There is no heart and soul to this movie.

        Abigail Breslin, who plays Zoe, does a remarkable job of convincing us that she is 'in character', however, she was slightly lacking in depth when it came to displaying hurt and anger. As for Aaron Eckhart, who plays Nick, I can honestly say that of all the actors, he was the one who showed the most promise. Eckhart managed to 'become' his sympathetic character, and although the writer failed to add depth to this particular character, Eckhart made due with the script he was given and breathed life into a secondary character that, unfortunately, was never created to outshine or even equal that of Catherine Zeta-Jones.

        Many are those who might find this an appealing movie - and might even be able to overlook the fact that a serious subject matter has been paved over with banalities and superficial emotions - but the discerning viewer, the one who is prepared to 'feel' the sorrow and the happiness, the one who wants nothing more than to shed a tear or two for the characters; that viewer will be sorely disappointed.

        Unfortunately, the actors let this movie down, but I point the blame at the director who has, unequivocally, proven that he is incapable of directing a talented cast.

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        30.11.2008 19:09

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        A great film but is predictable.

        This film is dubbed as a romantic comedy but is more of a comedy that is filled with laughs. I had to rewind some parts as I missed them due to this.

        In the film, the main character, Kate is a brillant chef. She loses control of both her life and the kitchen when her sister is killed in an accident. She then becomes the guardian of her child. However, the child isn't into the posh food that Kate is used too. All the kid likes is pizza. In the end, she gets the kid to help and shows her the greats of fresh food.

        The cast does a great job and are very entertaining. The script is great and will make you laugh. The sound and picture quality is very good. The story is very easy to understand so everyone will be able to watch but it is predictable.

        The DVD extras are very good and interesting. The footage is interesting and the commentaries are worth it. The delted scenes and bloopers are excellant.

        Overall, this is a great film that is mostly a comedy and it will make you laugh. It is very interesting and is very easy to understand. This makes it great to watch when you are tired and just want a rest. It is very easy to watch.

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        12.11.2008 20:40
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        A film starring Catherine Zeta Jones as an American chef.

        I'll watch pretty much anything when it comes to films, as long as it's fairly modern and not got subtitles I can usually be persuaded to see anything. Of course there are a few films that I've never wanted to see and some that my boyfriend suggests that sound awful, but the majority of things I'll certainly watch the start of before making up my mind. So at the weekend when I saw that there was a romantic comedy showing on Sky I thought I'd give it a go.

        No Reservations is an American produced film was released back in August 2007 in the UK. It's directed by Scott Hicks who has directed quite a number of films although nothing that I'd previously heard of and nothing recently either. It's advertised as being a comedy, a drama and a romance - not the most unique mixture of genres that ever was. The tagline was "Something's Cooking This Summer" just to give you a hint of what the film is about.

        The Plot

        The film focuses on Kate (Catherine Zeta Jones) who is a single woman living in Manhattan. Her life revolves around her job as a top chef in a rather upscale restaurant. Apart from her job there seems to be very little else in Kate's life, apart from her regular visits to her therapist as a direct order from her boss due to Kate being rather cold and unyielding. All this changes when Kate's sister dies in a road accident, leaving Kate with a nine year old niece to care for whom she barely knows. As Kate struggles to be a suitable parent to Zoe she must also deal with demons in her kitchen in the form of Nick. Nick gains a job at the restaurant and in doing so turns Kate's precise order into chaos with his crazy ways. After Kate forgets to pick up Zoe from school one day fairly early on in the story, Zoe gets the chance to make a wish which Kate then has to grant in order for Zoe to forgive her. Zoe makes a wish that Kate must invite Nick for dinner one night... Rather than spoil the plot by telling you what happens I'm going to leave it on that note to keep you guessing.

        The Characters

        Catherine Zeta Jones is quite good as control freak Kate and comes across as quite cold and controlling at the start of the film. Towards the middle she does begin to soften a little bit although I felt that there was something always a little static about her performance in this film. I am quite a fan of her but in this film I did feel somewhat let down. Abigail Breslin plays Zoe and she is perfect as the grief stricken child who brings laughter and love into her aunt's life. Her performance is endearing throughout and it's impossible not to like her with her big vulnerable eyes and her sweet way. She was only eleven at the time of this film and received a nomination for Young Artist Award for her performance. Aaron Eckhart plays Nick who was the somewhat clumsy and loveable leading male in this film. It was clear from the onset he had a crush on Kate and did all he could to endear himself to her while also producing quite a few comical moments in the film. Nick was a truly likeable character and Aaron played him superbly, constantly upbeat and friendly.

        My Opinion

        So did I enjoy this film? Well yes and no really, but probably more no than yes overall. It was completely and utterly predictable right from reading the advertising blurb and there was no doubt what the romantic ending would be. The storyline was a bit stale and has been done before under various different covers. However there were some really endearing performances that I did truly enjoy and there were a few comedy moments that did make me giggle. After watching this film I did a little research on the cast in order to write this review and discovered that this film is actually based on a German one called "Mostly Martha" which has the exact same plot line and was made in 2001. Apparently this re-make is virtually the same as the original, except it has changed its name and found a cast that is a good deal better looking and richer too. There seems to have been very little put into this film in terms of imagination.

        Of course as I've already mentioned it was completely predictable from the very start. Nick is brought in to lessen Kate's work load as a result of her having to look after her niece and obviously she thinks he is trying to get her job and dislikes him for it. However he soon endears himself to her by helping to get Zoe to eat food and bringing a smile to her face, after that you could turn off the film really and still feel confident that you know the correct ending. The actual cast left a little to be desired on some counts. Abigail Breslin gave a great performance, showing just the right of emotion throughout for the audience to really bond with her. On the other hand Catherine Zeta Jones left a little to be desired, I think she took the cold element in her character to the extremes, not once did she hug or kiss her young niece when she was grieving the loss of her mother which I found both hard and quite strange too.

        The film runs for just under two hours making it quite long in terms of a romantic comedy. The time did pass quite quickly to be fair and I don't think the film could have been cut down much. In terms of it being labelled a romantic comedy well the romance was certainly there, if unbelievable and forced at times yet I did think the comedy element was somewhat lacking - I think I laughed about three times in the whole film which doesn't really suggest a comedy to me. Whoever said don't mix business with pleasure was quite right. No romantic comedy would be complete without a little blip on the road to romance and this film certainly has a little blip. When the owner of the restaurant starts to praise Nick's work and goes so far as to offer him a permanent position and recommend him to the customer's Kate was far from happy. So there's your slight blip on the road to a happy ending, and you've got your completed romance.

        So to sum up the entire plot I would have to say the following: - See Kate cook, See Kate cook some more, Meet Zoe, Poor Zoe, Kate doesn't have a clue so she cooks some more, See Nick cook, See Kate dislike Nick because of his cooking talents, Nick cooks for Kate, Kate melts, happy family with lots of cooking, slight blip because of cooking and so on to the ending. So as you can see there's a lot of cooking in this film ideal for food enthusiasts worldwide I'd say! Would I watch this again? Not a chance. Would I recommend it? Well if you've got a spare couple of hours and have got Sky then yes it is worth seeing, but I wouldn't recommend you go out and buy it or rent if. If you do get the DVD then there's a few extras on there including all the usual stuff and you can buy it on Amazon for only £4.48.

        Thanks for reading.

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          21.10.2008 15:55
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          A nice little film

          I passed my driving test last week (yay!!) and went for a nice drive around with Harry after I got home to celebrate. We found ourselves in town so I popped into Woolworths and decided to buy myself a little celebratory present. I saw this film on the shelf called "No Reservations" and I remembered my mum telling me she'd seen it and thought it was good, so for only a fiver, I bought it and sat down to watch it last weekend.

          Chef Kate Armstrong has got her life sorted. She's got a great job as a head chef, a lovely little apartment and she thinks life is great, even though she's in therapy. But Kate's life changes completely when her sister is killed and she becomes full time carer of her niece Zoe. Kate has to alter her job and life to accomodate the little girl, and when new sous-chef Nick starts to
          look after Kate's kitchen when she's at home, she sees him as a threat. Can the two work together in harmony in the kitchen, or are they a recipe for disaster?

          All I remember about this film when it came out was reading how the lead actress Catherine Zeta-Jones actually went into a kitchen in a restaurant to learn how to act convincingly as a head chef, but that was all! I didn't really have any expectations, good or bad, so I watched without pre-conceptions about the film. One thing I did know however was that Zeta-Jones' films hadn't been overly successful (other than Chicago for which she won an Oscar) so I did think that this film was probably going to be a bit like marmite - I'd love it or hate it!

          The story itself wasn't anything overly original. Single woman suddenly has to change her life when a child comes into her life through family tragedy has definitely been done before on-screen. However, I haven't seen many films set in a kitchen and following a chef. Due to the popularity of chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, we've all had an insight into life in a high-pressure kitchen as a head chef, so 'No Reservations' was going to have to deliver on that front, there is too much known about this job for it not to portray the job properly. However, I don't think the film portrayed the madness and hecticness of a kitchen well enough. It all seemed a bit calm and Catherine Zeta-Jones' make-up and hair didn't seem at all tainted even when at the end of a night shift! For me, that did annoy me and I did wish that they'd gotten more into the kitchen aspect of the film.

          As well as the few kitchen scenes in the film, it really chose to focus on Kate and her solitary life. Kate cooks all the time, whether at home or at the restaurant and we do see this throughout the film. I loved that she made intricate dishes for her 8 year old niece as well, and really turned her nose up at the idea of cooking her 'fish sticks'! Some of the food in the film looked and sounded lovely, and the gradual change in Kate's cooking towards her niece was a nice indicator of the changing dynamics and relationships in the film. But I will be honest and say I honestly hadn't heard of a lot of the foods mentioned... I think I need to expand my food repertoire a bit!

          The cast in the film were well suited to their roles and played them quite convincingly. Zeta-Jones as Kate was very well-cast and she really did suit the role. She seemed very competent in the cooking methods she showed in the film and pronounced names with ease. She was very good on-screen with Aaron Eckhart who played sous-chef and "rival" Nick Palmer. The pair bounced off each other very well, and were fun to watch. In particular I found Eckhart's opera singing scenes very funny, and he is incredibly watchable and endearing! Talented child actress Abigail Bresline is Zoe, Kate's niece and is amazingly good for her age. She portrays grief, sorrow and hope with real passion and is really a star in the film, totally unfazed by her very famous co-stars! Together, the 3 are wonderful to watch and carry the story well for the film's duration.

          I really enjoyed watching this film. It's never going to win any awards or be taken too seriously but for what it is, I really liked it. The cast are what makes it very watchable, and there are some moving scenes, and some laugh-out-loud ones as well. Zeta-Jones American accent seems to be getting better although I could detect a Welsh twang in some of her food words! The film lasted for over an hour and a half, but I wasn't bored at all, the pace was just right and the director has done a good job in skipping unimportant parts and highlighting the others that mean something. A very sweet film of discovery, hope and love, and one I would recommend.

          Directed by Scott Hicks
          Running Time: 100 minutes
          Certificate: 15
          Available on Amazon for £4.48

          Main Cast
          Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Kate
          Aaron Eckhart ... Nick
          Abigail Breslin ... Zoe
          Patricia Clarkson ... Paula
          Jenny Wade ... Leah

          Thank you for reading!

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