I'll begin by saying I'm not a very good cook. I appreciate food prepared well, but when it comes to doing it myself, not so much. I have had trouble understanding the recent popularity of cooking shows like Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen and the like. I just don't care about the process. I felt better after seeing Ratatouille, because although I didn't care about the cooking, the story set in a kitchen, worked for me. Drawn more to No Reservations by it's cast, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Abigail Breslin and Aaron Eckhart, than the story of chefs, I saw this film with a friend who knows a lot more about cooking than I. Again, the kitchen setting worked.
In No Reservations a successful NY chef (Zeta-Jones) suddenly finds herself the guardian of her young niece (Breslin). (Can you say Raising Helen?) As she needs time to deal with the situation, her boss brings another chef into her kitchen (Eckhart). Formula plots develop, I found the relationship between the aunt and niece to be the most interesting. A little more somber than I expected, but the light moments work well. The focus on cooking was left on the back burner, but food was used well in developing the relationships of the characters. A cute mid-summer film.