Idol Chatter

no-reservations_idol.jpgI went to see “No Reservations” expecting the cheesy Hollywood romantic comedy promised in all the trailers (I love cheesy Hollywood romantic comedies so this would not have been a bad thing). What I experienced instead was a story that had more to do with grief and the aftermath of great loss than romance.
Yes, with hottie Aaron Eckart and the beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones playing the leads, there was certainly romance brewing (I couldn’t resist the pun). But with Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) in the major supporting role (as Zooey, a girl who’s just lost her mother in a tragic car accident and comes to live with her aunt), I cried more tears than felt romantic thrills.
The big screen loves Abigail Breslin’s big, saucer eyes. And, in my mind, the real story in “No Reservations” is little Zooey’s.

While in “Little Miss Sunshine” we met Abigail Breslin as the hilariously exuberant, grandpa-trained, pageant hopeful–in “No Reservations” we meet her as a solemn child, struck silent by grief. The girl who, after Kate Armstrong (Zeta-Jones) takes her home as per her sister’s last wish, seeks comfort and consolation by surrounding herself with a sea of stuffed animals. She won’t eat (partly because Kate has no idea how to feed a kid), and she can barely look anyone in the eyes for the better part of the film’s first half.
So when Nick Palmer (Eckhart) shows himself as the man who can coax Zooey out of her sorrow, that first real smile literally lights up the screen at that moment. The movie is predictable from here, and audiences finally get their romance (with a little comedy in between).
But the real reason to see “No Reservations” is to watch Abigail Breslin, who stars this time in a story that’s really about reassuring us that life not only goes on after death, but that eventually we can find wonder and joy in it too.

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