Two chefs looking at each other lovingly

No Reservations: A Tale Of Life

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No Reservations :

a 2007 film directed by Scott Hicks starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin. The Romance drama is based on the film ‘Mostly Martha’, a German film directed by Sandra Nettelbeck and released in 2001.


The American adaptation of the film revolves around Kate Armstrong who is an obedient chef who is keen on following rules and doesn’t do well with change. Kate is a stickler for perfection who is known across New York as “one of the better chefs” in Paula’s wordings who is her boss. As she continues her regular life being the head chef in the Bleecker Street restaurant, that is when life knocks on her door and things start to change.




Kate is an upbeat yet professional chef who is obsessed with dishes and cooking. Her excessive need to talk about food and how it can be perfectly presented in front of a customer is something that she loves about her life. It could be said that her job is her life. Her boss (Paula), orders her to undergo therapy during which all she talks about are her dishes and sauces. When her therapist asks about her last relationship, she tries to dodge him by saying “Isn’t that a little personal” to which he replies, “Well, this is therapy”.

Her dedication towards her job is seen when she goes to the fish market early in the morning to make the order. As she spends most of her time in the kitchen, she prefers to stay there even when a regular asks for her so that they can praise her talent which respects the food palette of different customers. However, there are instances when she leaves the kitchen and that is when someone insults her cooking!

Her only family is her sister (Christine) and her 9-year-old niece (Zoe; which means Life) who comes to visit Kate after a long time. On their way, they get in a tragic accident and only Zoe survives.

Christina leaves Zoe under Kate’s care as her legal guardian. Zoe must live with Kate, her aunt who is new to the whole parenting field. Even though she is dealing with the pain of losing her sister, she goes to work but breaks down as she reads her sister’s final message to her. Though she manages to take care of Zoe on her own and her work. Meanwhile, Paula hires a new sous chef from Italy as a replacement for one of the pregnant staff (Leah).

The new sous chef is Nicolas Palmer aka Nick who loves Opera, even though he has adequate skills to work as a head chef, he prefers to work under Kate as he admires her work. Nick’s optimistic personality annoys Kate in the beginning but as she sees how unpredictable he is, she starts to develop feelings for him.

Cinematography; The Blue Color Tint For Pain And Sorrow.



In the hospital scene, when Zoe (Abigail) wakes up and asks Kate, “Where is mom, is she dead? Isn’t she?” The blue color was specifically used by the creators to depict Zoe’s pain and sorrow. The entire scene was carefully crafted to put the entire focus on Zoe’s natural blue eyes, filled with tears.

Blue color can convey various emotions, including coldness, calm, and isolation, but here it serves as an anchor to convey the pain Zoe is experiencing which is unmeasurable! Much like her tear-filled deep blue eyes.

The Hallway Of Reality.



After visiting Zoe in the hospital, Kate goes back home. In this particular scene, the camera stands still in the hallway. Kate moves around, trying to distract herself by doing her regular chores. She checks her messages; usually, nobody leaves her any. But this time there was one message left by her sister. It’s the last thing she will ever hear from her the hallway scene highlights that her sister’s absence is always there and things will never go back to how they were.

The uplifting optimistic personality of Nick, the sturdiness of Kate, and simply the innocence of Zoe create a feel-good atmosphere that tempts us all to fall in love with their characters. It explores grief and the fear of forgetting those who are no longer with us. “No Reservations” promises us that we won’t ever forget them. They will live on through our memories.


Also, Read Why Kate Hated The Stardom During Titanic 





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