Tuesday, October 6, 2015

3 Short Paragraphs: No Reservations

2007, Scott Hicks (Snow Falling on Cedars ) -- Netflix

Even though most of my energy will be to the horror movie I just watched, I have to clear these out before they get relegated to the I Saw tag.  Seems rude for some of them; for others, like this one, not so much. Normally food movies are always a good pick for a day when nothing else on the My List hits, and one that is a remake of a popular European movie usually makes for a win. All of the great food movies are remakes of others (slap me on that one; the originals are great to begin with) and there are only a few that originated over here. I refuse to link to any listicals as they all seem to want to include Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. A pile of giant candy does not a food movie make.

This is a remake of  the German movie Mostly Martha, and not a dramatization of the Anthony Bourdain book. The latter would have been better. Kate is the chef at a popular resto in Manhattan. She dedicates her entire life to the place, focusing on food all day and often all night and even waking up on her days off to visit the early markets. The movie wants us to believe it is to her detriment, but really, the people in the kitchen like her and its only her inability to deal with asshole customers that sends her to a shrink. The sudden death of her sister plops a niece in her lap and the single woman has to learn about life work balance.

This is a good plot. She accepts her new role as adoptive mom and attempts to insert the new relationship into the existing working one. Things don't work out and her work begins to suffer, which then inserts Aaron Eckert into the resto. More conflict. All good for drama. But the movie presents everything in a quick cut, snap snap snap snap snap snap, style that never allows anything to be absorbed. I just never felt a story was being told, which would have been forgivable if I was looking forward to the next food scene, but those were sorely lacking, making me doubt it was even a proper food movie.

Plus, I never trust a movie with only one known poster.