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Hairspray

Rating: 9.7/10
Rated: PG
Starring: Nicki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Amanda Bynes, and Queen Latifah
Genre: Musical/Comedy
My Grade: A-

"Hairspray" is easily the most amusing, delightful, and rambuctious film of the summer... that will leave your toe-tapping and your mouth grinning from ear to ear. Though I started this film with some uneasiness at how corny it was, I slowly got used to it and fell in love. The same goes with John Travolta, who plays Tracy's mother... at first, your apprahensive, but then you just go with it and you adore every moment he has on screen. The actors and actresses are all superb, from Pfeiffer's villainous seductress to Latifah's powerhouse heroine. The adults are all charming, but its the kids who shine... Blonsky is flawless in her first-time role, Bynes is endearing, Efron is surprisingly engaging, and Kelley is just a joy to watch. This is a film that sports so much talent... Director Adam Shankman choreographs and directs this film with flare, he was the PERFECT choice to helm this movie. All of the music is sensational, every number will just leave you wanting more. The most accessable, daring, energetic, rollicking, and powerful musical of the decade... this is classic stuff were dealing with here.



Note: Time to read more "Harry Potter", its exceptional so far (I'm on Page 79)... I'm reading slow, but I'm enjoying every minute of it
No Reservations

Initial Reaction: That's okay; I'll just wait in line.



Main Characters

Kate Armstrong: She's a chef played by Caterine Zeta Jones.

Nick Palmer: He's a chef played by Aaron Echart

Zoe: She's Kate's niece played by Abigail Breslin



Plot Summary

Kate has a problem; she has a temper and confronts customers at her restaurant who criticize her cooking. This lands her in therapy.

But her life gets even worse when her sister dies in a car crash and she has to take care of Zoe. Zoe doesn't like to eat anything that Kate makes for her.

And it gets even more troubling when a new chef appears in her kitchen, Nick. Nick is the opposite of Kate; she's very business like and efficient while he like to goof off and have fun with food.

But sometime bad things can turn into good things. Zoe has a meeting with Nick, and she really likes him. The kid also takes a liking to his cooking.

Seeing Zoe happy makes Kate think twice about Nick. Is he really a guy she would like to know more about?



SCORING

Main Characters

Very good. They show some real chemistry on screen, playing off each other and giving me a glance at how relationships may/may not work. SCORE: 9



Supporting Cast

Not as memorable; there's the owner of the store, a shrink that Kate sees, and a teacher at the school Zoe goes to. The actors/actresses do a good job, but these characters don't have the impact the leading trio does. SCORE: 7



Plot

It's tough to go through the first half of the film; everything is dark, crabby and humor challenged. Things get lighter in the second half, but there's very little joy in this story. SCORE: 5



Originality

It's been a while since I've seen a movie about a adult forced into parenthood, and this movie does a good job on showing why that's a tough transition. SCORE: 8



Violence Factor

The only thing getting beaten, chopped, sliced and diced are food. SCORE: 9



Other Moral Issues

This movie is about how a woman becomes a mother -- but it spends a lot of time down in the dumps, which makes the message fuzzy. SCORE: 7



Final Score (out of 60): 45 % Score: 75%

An average plot is made great by the leading cast.
simple and predictable. no chemistry between stars.
No Reservations
Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, and Patricia Clarkson.
Directed by Scott Hicks. (Hearts in Atlantis, Shine, and Snow Falling on Cedars)
Rated PG.

Sure, "No Reservations" is a predictable romantic comedy but I am a sucker for those. And I disagree with the critics. I have NOT forgotten about this film and I probably won't. I am getting it on DVD. It's probably not going to end up on my top 10 this year due to the fact that there are so many great movies but it's close. See it for a nice change from all these action packed blockbusters this summer.
As a second helping of culinary films this summer, No Reservations does a fine job setting the stage for a decent foodie chick-flick with just the right amount of chefly ego tossed in for good measure.

Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Kate, a driven heralded chef who happens to be anal retentive in every way. Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin is Kate's niece, Zoe, who unexpectedly moves in after a tragedy takes her mother from her. While Kate steps away from the kitchen to figure out how the hell to care for a 9-year old, her boss brings in a sous chef to help ease the load - enter Nick (Aaron Eckhart), the exact opposite to Kate's orderly and controlling head chef. Nick likes things loose and passionate, including singing to Pavarotti in the kitchen and dancing with the quail dinner special.

Kate is an atypical movie heroine as she is grounded and content with her routines, including her empty apartment and seemingly always empty voicemail box. The addition of a child who refuses to eat Kate's gourmet feasts sends her reeling and looking for answers back in her home away from home - the restaurant kitchen. She quickly learns that you cannot always dress the plate to appease all palates and she has to learn to allow herself to eat on the floor and have pillow fights. Nick finds the recipe to soften her tough exterior and bring fun and joy into her home life with Zoe.

The journey of Kate, Zoe and even Nick was a bit predictable, but a little life was stirred into the tale with Zoe's willingness to step into the kitchen and do a little saut
The movie No Reservations is extremly predictable and simplistic throughout the movie. It is also too much of a drama and saddening for a comedy. The movie is also very formulaic showing you the same romantic stuff you've seen time and time again. But getting past the bad parts underneath is a funny food filled movie at times but it is not usually funny or close to it only hitting this mark every twenty minutes or so. All in All not that great a movie.



Bottom Line: Will be forgotten when it comes out again next month...


NO RESERVATIONS
B



This is a romantic-comedy with a relatively low profile. There is no slapstick Robin Williams antics here. This is a simple, albeit predictable romantic tale with some strong performances.

Catherine-Zeta Jones plays Kate, a primetime Chef with significant emotional problems bordering on OCD. She inherits her niece, Zoe (Abigail Breslin) after her sister dies in a car crash.

Uncomfortable moments ensue as showboating chef Nick (Aaron Eckhart) is hired as an extra hand in Kate's kitchen.

Eckhart and Jones are very good together in an interesting cast. There are tender moments throughout, but also some scenes that fall flat.


The characters here are all real and believable, and the movie overall is really pleasant. However, it isn't incredibly original or moving, or funny, for that matter. Just a simple story well told with the best intentions.

Parents watch out. I thought this was a comedy but it is usually just very sad and a bring-a-hankie movie. A single mom is killed in a car accident leaving her sister to raise her 7 (?) year old daughter. If you have a sensitive child or are a single parent, your child doesn't need this movie. The aunt is a tense, cold person who only has time for her career. It doesn't change when this poor kid is suddenly in her life. Oh, of course, by the end of the movie, things come together. Duh--talk about predictable! How in the heck did this movie get listed as a comedy???
Unlike the trailers imply for this movie, No Reservations is more family drama rather than a romantic comedy. There is lavish bitter dark pathos of death in the beginning of the movie and more colorful look at restaurant cooking while there are bits of humor scattered like sweets throughout the movie. There are some amazing close up scenes that really grab the attention of the audience with the emotions and captivating context of the scenes, color motif is brilliant. Overall, script is basic and mostly predictable with some good tie-ins and closures. It's Catherine Zeta Jones that makes this movie deliciously sparkle. Entertaining and fun for the summer with good flashes of cooking on part with "Ratatouille" that came out just a little earlier.
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