“No Reservations”

Went to the Common today to see a total chick flick: No Reservations [NY Times Review], starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. I figured, hey, I’ve got lots of expired AMC Theaters gift certificates sitting around that have to be accepted in Massachusetts by law, and I’ve got time… why not?

This film is a quiet, understated emotional triumph. Sure, we all love to watch Mrs. Douglas mope around the screen in a cute Chef’s outfit, and who doesn’t like Aaron Eckhart every moment he’s on screen? The dude made Thank You for Smoking watchable, so he has talent.

But I was really surprised by the downbeat, slow pace of the film. Abigail Breslin breaks your heart, as a recently orphaned pre-tween forced to move in with her emotionally immature Manhattanite Aunt. Still, she finds the energy to scheme and guilt her stunted Aunt into falling in love with the goofy sous-chef that wears CrocsDid I mention that Eckhart wears freaking Crocs in this film?

But, I really focused on little Breslin – everyone knows her from the absurd, hacky Little Miss Sunshine – but that’s too bad. She’s oddly affecting in this film, and her character is much more rooted in reality.

8/10

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