A familiar dish doesn't have to be a bland one, but No Reservations doesn't allow for the slightest grain of salt.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
No Reservations is a factory-sealed romantic comedy. But the emotional details of its characters' journeys are surprising, honest and life-size.
Matt Zoller Seitz - New York Times
Here is a romcom that has been developed on a Petri dish in some unspeakable secret department at the Porton Down biological warfare unit, designed to release a gaseous vapour into cinemas, rendering the civilian population immobile.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
No Reservations is worth penciling in to your schedule, though it's more guilty diversion than memorable feast.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
There's already a crazy behind-the-scenes restaurant movie out this summer, and it's got a better story, and it's a cartoon, and it stars a rat.
Hank Stuever - Washington Post
No Reservations, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as a persnickety New York chef, makes a corned beef hash out of Mostly Martha, the much-loved 2001 German film from which it has been Hollywoodized.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The thing's so charming and frothy and delightful and sentimental and beautifully shot and well-acted and sincere that it takes a good couple of hours before you start craving real nourishment.
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
The first lesson we learn in Scott Hicks' contrived romance No Reservations is that 'there's no greater sin than to overcook a quail.' The second is that a blandly seasoned comedy is nearly as unappetizing.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
It would have been nice to have some heat in the kitchen.
Joanne Kaufman - Wall Street Journal
It has the smooth, caramelized sheen of a confection that goes down easy -- but won't be too hard to forget.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
No Reservations may not be grand eats, but it is tasty.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
The movie is a remake of Mostly Martha (2001), a German film very much liked by many. No Reservations doesn't seem to reinvent it so much as recycle it.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The salacious close-ups of saucepans and gnocchi and quail guarantee it: After seeing No Reservations you'll be hungry for a really top-flight meal. And, to go with it, a better film.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Carol Fuchs's silly, mushy script has her character swerve without warning between obtuse rigidity and sweet normality.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Alas, not even Eckhart and Breslin can get Zeta-Jones to simmer.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
On paper, it had to look like a guaranteed chick flick for the Food Network generation. On film, though, it's too tepid to work.
Tom Long - Detroit News
No amount of chemistry or comedy could make what's always bound to happen next seem any less predictable.
Ed Masley - Arizona Republic
An unnecessary but somewhat charming remake of Mostly Martha, the delicious 2001 German film about food, love and family values that enchanted a lot of skeptics, including me.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Agreeably prepared and attractively presented.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
A souffle of a romantic and family comedy that stubbornly refuses to rise.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
It's the blandness of the characters, the staleness of the settings and Zeta Jones' struggle with reserve that hobbles No Reservations.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
A shamelessly microwaved American rewarming of the 2002 German romantic comedy Mostly Martha.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Though it loses something in the American homogenization, No Reservations is still a passable romantic dish.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Sometimes movies make sense in a logical way; sometimes they make only emotional sense. No Reservations makes no damned sense at all.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Five years from now, this bland and forgettable throwaway will be remembered only for Breslin, who will by then be a poised and gifted 16-year-old actress (as long as she keeps out of Lohan-like trouble -- please, Abby!).
Dana Stevens - Slate
It's not exactly revolutionary territory but it is effectively presented and it will be hard to find viewers who aren't at least a little moved by what director Scott Hicks has placed on the screen.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A culinary misfire whose comic ingredients fail to coalesce.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Everyone involved is so pedigreed, so capable, they make the experience go down easier that it ordinarily might.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Everything in it is designed to make you feel better, so why does it feel artificial and palliative in that really depressing way?
Carina Chocano - Los Angeles Times
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Hank Sartin - Time Out
Melissa Anderson - Time Out
Chalk it up as an alternative to watching a kitchen full of singing rats.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
Not bad, not amazing. Just a classy romantic comedy that, like a good meal, is enjoyable enough to partake of, but the taste of which will fade soon thereafter.
Heather Huntington - ReelzChannel.com
Catherine Zeta-Jones controls the kitchen, but can't control my attention.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Like the well-known joke about Chinese fare %u2014 No Reservations satisfies while you're sitting down at the table, but an hour later you're hungry again.
Brandon Fibbs - Colorado Springs Gazette
There's nothing in this story that you haven't seen before, and you'll know everything that's going to happen long before it does, yet it's all done with such charm and style that you won't care.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
...there's not much sparkle in the movie and even less spark to the love story.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Bland-but-sweet dramedy more for adult palates.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
This many delicious ingredients should have produced a tastier, more memorable result.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
A product of the sort of steely, soulless competence that marks so very many films as the work of professionals who view this as a job, not an art form.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Everyone is now richer and better looking and it's a good deal cuter and more sentimental.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Zeta-Jones, Eckhart and Breslin play second fiddle to Ratatouille in what amounts to romantic drama fast food.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
The combined know-how of Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay couldn't salvage the unappetising concoction that is No Reservations.
Neil Smith - BBC
With Shine's Scott Hicks at the helm, this is a well-presented dish, but too cloying for discerning palates.
Jane Crowther - Total Film
Rarely likeable on screen, Zeta Jones has a hard time making us empathise with her Ramsay-style ballbreaker.
Neil Smith - thelondonpaper
It's sufficiently well done to qualify as cute, quite the thing for a girlie outing with grub after, but it's utterly phoney baloney.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
Alas, this is one of those Hollywood copies that is perfectly decent in its acting and direction but hopelessly deficient in originality and any real flair.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
The ingredients of the German original Mostly Martha this time produce a cliche Chinese dish, forgotten a mere five minutes later.
Martin Hoyle - Financial Times
Hie me to the vomitorium, it's a fantastically smug and boring movie about food and romance, pumped with artificial sweeteners.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Bland remake of tasty German romcom.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
While Zeta-Jones and Eckhart make an appealing couple, their chemistry never really develops due to the script's complete lack of sauce.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
No reservations about this one, folks, it's bottom of the food chain.
Dean Essner - Daily Mirror [UK]
No Reservations is a light snack not a three-course meal. It's too light and fluffy to satisfy.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
This take it or leave it romantic comedy probably wouldn't get many Michelin stars, but it's not the turkey twizzler you might expect.
Jamie Russell - Film4
There's not an unpredictable moment in Carol Fuchs's plodding, syrupy script; this dreadful remake of the moderately pleasing German film Mostly Martha is misconceived from start to finish.
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph
After Nick's opera karaoke I was ready to bludgeon my own ears off with a meat tenderiser.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
Disappointing, undercooked romcom that falls flat due to the lack of chemistry between the two leads and is only livened up by Abigail Breslin's performance.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
If there's a surprise to be had here, it's how the predictable stream of events flow without the slightest bit of tension, manufactured or otherwise.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
Director Scott Hicks is unable to capture the magic of the original, and Aaron Eckhart is miscast as the sous-chef who disturbs the culinary-driven predictability of Catherine Zeta-Jones' kitchen.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
The movie assumes Kate, so powerful, self-confident, and driven, must be "softened."
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Frothy but harmless bit of predictable fluff. Food looks good anyway.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
No Reservations made me hungry...for a romantic comedy not as bland and undercooked as this forgettable trifle.
Neil Cohen - Echo Magazine
... despite a lack of heat outside the kitchen, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart are engaging enough as performers to keep us rooting for them ...
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
More reminiscent of common ketchup than Kate's magnificent saffron sauce, No Reservations is likeable, peopled by appealing characters, and entirely unremarkable.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
The film probably won't win Oscars but it's an entertaining romantic story with top-notch actors and a bit of fun and creative maneuvering in the kitchen.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
Although all the performances are good, Kate's character often rings false.
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
Remaking a movie doesn't always work, but in this case it's like really good leftovers... add a fresh spice or two and it's almost as good the second time around.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Whereas Ratatouille is the filmic equivalent of an entree, think of this pleasant time-filler as a particularly palatable side dish.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Hicks directs with polite seriousness, using too many montages and too much bland dialogue.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
It's a tragedy, a romantic comedy and a drama, with its charismatic cast navigating the manufactured highs and lows with enough skill to deepen what otherwise might have been a movie sorely lacking in depth.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
For a movie so keen on the idea of creating your own recipe, it sure likes to stick to the familiar ones.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
It surpasses any romantic comedy I've seen in a long time.
Stina Chyn - Film Threat
Dean Essner - Screen International
Decent, but not as good as the original.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Honestly, the best thing you can do is go rent Mostly Martha, the 2002 German film this Hollywood remake is based very, very closely on. But if you really can't stand to read subtitles, then this is your next best bet.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
While European films have a certain subtlety about them, American versions lose a little something in the translation, like taking a vintage Dom Perignon and distilling it into Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
I found myself wanting to shout at the screen, 'Would you please just hurry up and have sex with your new sous chef so we can skip to dessert and go home?!'
Lisa Johnson - FilmStew.com
If you want a romantic comedy that's mostly charming and doesn't insult your intelligence or morals, I suggest this light, heartwarming summer fare--with just a few reservations.
Camerin Courtney - Christianity Today
Good, old-fashioned Hollywood gloss with smooth and winning portrayals from its three leads, and food so lusciously photographed that Zeta Jones may just be the second most beautiful sight onscreen.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
"No Reservations" is a bland movie about food. The show is middling fare that could have used more spice.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Zeta-Jones and Eckhart manage to turn this film into an okay chick flick that IS probably best left for the chicks.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
The satisfying culinary romance No Reservations divides and conquers by making us crave the utterly attainable -- spaghetti with fresh basil -- as intensely as we do either of its unattainable leads.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
...an amiable piece of work...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
It's hard to tell who's more out of element in No Reservations: the icily beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones playing the lead in a romantic comedy, or Scott Hicks trying to direct one.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Mired in cliches, the movie wants us to believe what it tells us, instead of showing us genuine people and emotions.
Jette Kernion - Cinematical
It's predictable and safe, but taken on its own terms, No Reservations is also a likeable film.
Gary Goldstein - Reel.com
feels more like warmed-over leftovers than a gourmet meal of a movie.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
No Reservations doesn't ring entirely true, which isn't too surprising for the genre, but it is a cut above most offerings of its sort.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
A romantic comedy that does precious little with the considerable resources at its disposal.
Chris Kaltenbach - Baltimore Sun
When aunt and niece eventually bond, the moment is truly affecting. But the length of time it takes to get there underscores how thin this story is.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
I have no hard feelings toward adult-oriented escapist cinema, but there's a robotic quality to No Reservations that keeps the film from soaring.
Brian Orndorf - eFilmCritic.com
It doesn't have the freshness and inspiration of a gourmet meal, but it makes for a pretty decent reheated leftover.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
Nice as all this good food looks, we can't smell it, taste it or feel its textures in a movie, which usually leaves me hungry for something more substantial to sink my teeth into.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Slyly sensual and succulent, it's a deliciously delectable froth in which food is the metaphor for love and life.
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Watching it would have the exact same impact on you as not watching it.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The romance is boring. Everything is blandly good-looking. The emotional beats are so programmed, you can predict the entrance of every single note of the Philip Glass dirge of a score. And the title means nothing beyond its double-entendre.
M.E. Russell - Oregonian
The effort is more akin to laying a thick, sugary sauce onto what demands a more organic, natural purity.
Doris Toumarkine - Film Journal International
Such undercooking accounts for a lot of the film's forgettable flavor and is the main reason you'll feel hungry again an hour after leaving the theater.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
Another zesty foreign flick ground into American hamburger.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
You don't need to have been a fan of the terrific German film Mostly Martha that inspired this remake, or even to have seen the original, to recognize that her American cousin has a tendency to overcook things.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
Dave White - Movies.com
"No Reservations" is absolutely ordinary in its predictability and blandness. Don't expect any memorable performances or mouth-watering scenarios.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
From Mostly Martha to Mainly Comfort Food -- by way of the Hollywood microwave.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
To see No Reservations is to see what's wrong with a lot of American movies. A remake Mostly Martha, it takes a winning recipe and adds some distinctly Hollywood flavors: It takes adult characters and has them behave like children.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
It goes down like a cold Big Mac.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
The cast makes the film a warm and agreeable experience.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
...an unabashed feel-good star vehicle...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
In the same way that leftover food sometimes tastes better warmed over, No Reservations is a more enjoyable film than the 2001 German film on which it is based, Mostly Martha.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
The surface is as fine and brittle as a souffle, but the inside is just as full of air. Touch it once, and it deflates.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Here is a case for remaking a movie.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The total absence of wit and humor doesn't help the meager romance.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
This pic could make for a good date night, but renting the original would make for a better one.
Danny Minton - Beaumont Journal
No Resevations adds nothing new to the rom-com recipe, but its sweetness lingers.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
All involved, in fact, hit their marks on the way to the picture's warm, fuzzy, complacent denouement.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
An appropriate palate cleanser in between noisy summer action flicks.
Dezhda Gaubert - E! Online
No Reservations is diverting because of all the gleaming food on display. For those of us who can't stand the heat and so stay out of the kitchen, the intricate preparation of quail with truffle sauce is a wonder to behold.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
The ingredients of a delicious romantic comedy are left slightly undercooked in this remake of 2001's Mostly Martha.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
One of the few movies out there that doesn't stoop to low-brow humor and bad-taste elements. The film's humor and drama is sweeter and comes from believable character and story development.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
The result is like one of those fancy frozen dinners that look so tempting in the picture on the box but turn out to be flavorless glop when you actually sink your teeth into them.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
A sumptuous celebration of the joy of food. Scene after scene is punctuated with tantalizing glimpses of haut-cuisine delicacies and mouth-watering talk of food. My stomach growled all through the movie.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Will Kate, too, fall for Nick? Only every single person watching the movie knows for sure.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
No delicacies here. No Reservations is just as bland and predictable as a frozen TV dinner.
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
The movie gives a modest level of pleasure, mainly because of Stuart Dryburgh's handsome, varied cinematography and the performances of the leads.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
No Reservations succeeds as well as it does (kinda sorta) by virtue of Zeta-Jones' performance
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
just right for fans looking for a little romance at the movies this weekend.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
Where Mostly Martha managed to fold its rather plotty conceit into an organic world of people and problems, in this stubbornly torpid remake, the conceit props up the characters and vice versa.
Michelle Orange - Reeler
A charming cast and an elegantly restrained Philip Glass score elevate the middling to the fairly sublime.
John Thomason - Orlando Weekly
Based on the popular German comedy Mostly Martha, it doesn't leave a bad taste. It doesn't leave much taste at all, save perhaps for the cloying echoes of Velveeta cheese.
John Anderson - Newsday
There's no question how No Reservations will end, which would be just fine if the film made getting there even slightly pleasurable.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
[A] fatally bland star vehicle.
Melissa Anderson - Time Out New York
A zesty concoction of offbeat, temperamental characters who do their best to resist one another in matters of the heart, while also swallowing a whole lot more than their pride.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Like bland cooking, No Reservations may look appetizing, but it's missing some key ingredients -- it's lovely, but relatively tasteless.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
What the film lacks in substance it more than makes up for in style.
Mack Bates - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
No Reservations? I have some reservations.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
There are moments that work, but on the whole, this production just doesn't flow well, doesn't drive, doesn't build to climax. One other hindrance: the heavy-handed score.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Warm, genuine, and a pleasant surprise.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
a sweet enough genre piece
Anne Gilbert - Filmcritic.com
Sure it has some cheesy moments and a way-too-convenient ending, but it means well and has a poignant core that feels true to itself.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
Breslin, that little thief, steals another average movie from her elders.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Falls short, mostly through the inclusion of cringe-inducing dialogue like, 'I wish there was a cookbook for life.'
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
One of those movies that just treads water, filled with obvious developments, demanding nothing.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
No Reservations has no surprises, but it is lighthearted and loving enough to make up for it. It's one of those movies that is entirely predictable, yet, you don't care.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
The film, directed by A-lister Scott Hicks, positively glows -- sweet, understated, never too cloying, it has a light touch with metaphors and a charm that formula can't keep down.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Might have been worth recommending had the film cut to end credits during a key sequence set to Liz Phair's "Count on My Love." Unfortunately, director Scott Hicks trudges forward with plotting that gets dumber by the minute.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Blaring opera in the kitchen and talking to the fish, Eckhart is the Patch Adams of the culinary world.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
No Reservations ties everything together with a neat little bow, demonstrating timidity about the ingredient it needs most of all: reality.
Eric Kohn - New York Press
A remake not only of Mostly Martha, but of every romantic comedy featuring an uptight woman who learns to cut loose and enjoy life with a freewheeling new beau.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
A great big cheeseburger of a movie...For those who have been waiting for Philip Glass to score a pillow fight, your wait is over.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
A cinematic culinary treat for those without a discerning palate.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
even the tiramisu (prepared in Tupperware(tm)yet) fails to be tempting, or even moderately interesting. Any film that can make one of dessert-doms most divine creations seem drab isn't just bad, it's criminal
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
A romantic comedy about a perfectionistic chef who discovers a new life for herself once she lets go of the illusion of controlling her days with a rigorous set of rules and habits.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Inconsequential and predictable.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
It has just the right touch. The script is nice, I think all the performances are strong.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
A super-sized serving of warmed-over cliches...though No Reservations may well make your mouth water, it will probably be for a good movie.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Sporting chefs who look more appetizing than those found in 'Ratatouille,' 'No Reservations' is harmless, predictable, and an entertaining time at the movies.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
A slick, sludgy, romanticised love story that's only livened up by a another wonderfully grounded performance by Breslin.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
For all of the zesty food that's cooked, it's the organic quality of the performances that evoke just the right amount of tenderness without any aftertaste of sentimentality. The texture is just right.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Director Scott Hicks brings little subtlety of expression or personal voice to this remake of the far superior erotic-food German tale, Mostly Martha, though Eckhart and Zeta-Jones share together some appealing moments.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Even though it is a romantic comedy, there is too much miserableness going round for the film to be truly enjoyable.
James O'Ehley - SA Movie & DVD Magazine