This summer there have been two movie posters that made me wanna bash my fucking head against the wall. The first is the one for I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry where the King of Queens guy is holding Adam Sandler and has his mouth open wide like he’s screaming and you can see his tongue. The other one’s the ad for No Reservations where it’s Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart in a kitchen and CZJ is looking at AE kind of dreamily romantically and he’s smirking back with his dimpled blond handsomeness as if thinking shit’s sort of wacky here but essentially under control.
Catherine Zeta-Jones is something of a mystery to me. She’s one of those people who I don’t understand how they got famous. I know it’s largely the Michael Douglas thing but she must’ve been a little bit famous before that or Douglas never would’ve walked up to her and said, “I’d like to father your children,” which according to some bullshit I just read is what he said to her when they met. Oh and then she won a fucking Oscar. Who fucking cares. Zeta-Jones is the worst. I hate her.
Anyway, in this movie she plays Kate, a super uptight but really awesome and renowned chef. Kate works at a hot restaurant in New York called 22 Bleecker, which has a small dark intimate dining room but for some reason has a huge gleaming kitchen about ten times as big. The kitchen is sweatless and greaseless and Kate rules with an iron fist. She’s one of those movie women who only has time for her career and won’t ever go on a date with the pleasant Irish guy who lives in her building and keeps asking her out. She goes to therapy but only so she can drone on to her shrink about her succulent quail. At this point everything’s set up for the dude to come along, the Aaron Eckhart character, to first throw her world into turmoil and then bring her true happiness but what happens instead is her sister dies in a car crash and Kate gets custody of the kid, her niece. I admit this was a surprise and made the movie marginally more interesting. Plus the kid’s played by Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine, who’s not so bad as far as child actors go. But pretty soon Eckhart does appear as a soulful nonconformist sous chef named Nick who wears red Converse All-Stars and sings fucking opera in the kitchen to the delight of the staff but the outrage of Kate and blah blah there’s some hard times and some good times then some hard times again but eventually Kate and Nick fall in love and feed each other delicacies with wooden spoons blindfolded and everyone ends up happy etc.
No Reservations is way too long and, after that brief early detour into death and darkness, adheres pretty strictly to formula. But it’s more interesting than the poster makes it look and I liked it better than I thought I would, though I hasten to add this has more to do with Eckhart and Breslin and nothing whatsoever to do with that fucking mannequin Zeta-Jones. It’s still a piece of shit but on the scale of things certainly better than Chuck and Larry or some fucking movie about tourists who get hacked.