Wednesday, February 13, 2008

'No Reservations' ...

I fell in love with Mostly Martha. My cousins recommended it to me because it was a charming movie, sure, but more specifically, because it was a charming movie about food.

But Mostly Martha is a German film, which means that the characters? They speak German. Which means that if you don't speak German (which I don't, despite studying it for four years), you need to read subtitles. The horror, the horror, as Col. Kurtz would say.

And so Hollywood, given that it's largely devoid of any original ideas anymore – The Dukes of Hazzard? – decided it would remake Mostly Martha in its own, more-beautiful image.

So I watched it. The whole thing. Just to see how much I disliked it in comparison to the original. Except that the story lines are almost identical, so I already knew what was going to happen. Then again, even if I hadn't seen the original, I would have known what was going to happen. See: "largely devoid of any original ideas ..." above.

The major difference between the two films? In Mostly Martha, the female chef has light hair and the male chef has dark hair. But in No Reservations – wait for it! – the female chef has dark hair and the male chef has light hair!

See?! They're completely different! 180 degrees!

Cute Abigail Breslin can conjure up tears like a little Tammy Faye Bakker. Aaron Eckhart is good, but he's better in Thank You For Smoking. Catherine Zeta-Jones actually allows herself to be filmed with minimal make-up in a couple scenes. Good for her.

In the end, it's not a bad movie. If you haven't seen Mostly Martha and therefore are comparing this movie solely to other romantic movies, it's not so bad. I mean, it's no An Affair to Remember but it won't make you want to poke yourself in the eye.

If you haven't seen either version, I'd encourage you to watch Mostly Martha.

But if you have seen Mostly Martha, I think you'll agree that this remake didn't improve on the original.

The most fascinating aspect of both movies, for me, is getting a glimpse into a working kitchen. When I go to a restaurant, I don't think about the frantic pace behind the scenes, whipping out dishes all night long.

Years ago, I spent two days in a professional kitchen, a catering operation, not a restaurant, but I got a taste of what it would be like to work in that environment.

Which is why I opted not to go to culinary school after all.


Blogger Mercurie said...

I haven't seen either version, so I'll probably try Mostly Martha first. I'm not adverse to subtitles--my favourite film is The Seven Samurai after all!

8:03 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

For every 3:10 to Yuma, there are a dozen No Reservations. You would think that the Hollywood muckymucks were figure out - or, more specifically, remember - that originality is always the way to go. But that involves actual thinking and forethought and work, right? Remakes - I spit on them! [spit]

1:51 PM  

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