When I saw the previews for No Reservations I thought it looked really cute. I also thought it looked really familiar but I assumed that was just because so many romantic comedies have such similar plots. It’s normally the kind of movie that I’d wait to see on dvd but I was in the mood for the movies today and it was really the only thing playing here that I felt might be worth the ticket price. So, I went to see a early show. That way I get the $5.50 price. 🙂
Well, it turns out that it looked familiar for a reason. I’ve seen it before. It’s an American remake of a German movie called Bella Martha [released in the US as “Mostly Martha”]. I rented Mostly Martha [pronounced Mart-tah, by the way] from Blockbuster when it first came out here, about 3 or 4 years ago, because it was German. I have a thing for modern German movies. I ended up really liking it. I’ve no idea why I don’t own it to tell you the truth.
The remake follows the same basic storyline but takes out a twist where the little girls father shows up and changes the ending to fit American audiences expectations of a easily understood Happy Ending. I’m not criticizing the changes. I understand why they’re there. I did like the original better but it’s impossible to say whether thats because it’s a better movie or just because I happened to have seen it first.
One thing that needs to be pointed out though, is that the trailers for No Reservations are very misleading. This is no romantic comedy. The romance is a sub-plot and only takes up a fraction of the movies run time. The real story is about the main character [Martha in the original, Kate in the remake] and her little niece [Lina in the original and Zoe ,played adorably by Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine in the remake] that she inherits after the death of her sister. Although it has funny and very cute moments. Overall, it falls much closer to “drama” on the movie spectrum and not “comedy” by a long shot.
That said it is a very good movie. It’s very cute and sweet and it has sad moments as well. So, watch it by all means but don’t into it expecting a romantic comedy.
It seems that the really cute and sweet “romantic comedy” is a dying breed. Some might say thats a good thing and I’m not generally a romantic comedy fan but every now and then one does catch my eye and I really enjoy it. I think they are a necessity in the film industry. They’re fairy tales for grown up. They give us an hour and a half to two hours to pretend that everything does work out right and that you always get the guy [or girl] that your suppose to get. It’s nice to spend that time knowing that things will work out. It’s like a mini vacation.
It seems that lately very few true “romantic comedies” get released though. They always have other plots with a bit of romance or relationshippy stuff thrown in for flavor. Usually the love interest story seems almost like an afterthought. Which makes them really just straight “comedies”. I’m not really a fan of straight comedies. Every now and then one pops up that I like but most are utterly forgettable and few make me laugh out loud. This is due more to my odd sense of humor than it is to the quality of the movies, though.
I miss the “romantic comedy”. I miss my mini vacation. Oh, I mean they still get released occasionally but mostly direct to video or with a small theatre release thats almost entirely under the radar. I have to go search them out and that shouldn’t be. A “romantic comedy” is not the kind of movie that you search out. They’re the movies that you stumble across and think “Oh that looks cute”. So, you get it and watch it and you get to relax and take a journey through the many simplicities of a fictional relationship. Having to search them out ruins the experience. Don’t get me wrong. I do search them out occasionally. I just wish I didn’t have to.
I also wish that they weren’t seen as inferior to more serious realistic movies. I mean, Star Wars isn’t a realistic movie but would you ever call it inferior to anything, ever? Taxi Driver isn’t very realistic but inferior? I think not. For a better comparison, the Harry Potter movies are far from being realistic. Thats why we like them. We get to live in a whole other world for a few hours. Thats the same reason why we like romantic comedies. Sure really badly made god awful romantic comedies exist but that shouldn’t take away the respect of the really good ones anymore then the bad horror movies should take away respect from the good horror movies BUT then again thats a whole different topic there, isn’t it?
In summary, go see No Reservations and expect a little bit of cute and a little bit of drama but not a laugh filled romance. While your at it also rent Mostly Martha. 🙂 And the next time you need cheering up rent a romantic comedy and don’t feel ashamed to show your video to the guy at the Blockbuster counter. Also, enjoy the movie but don’t cry over why your life isn’t like that and don’t expect your life to ever be like that. Just enjoy the movie.
My Suggestions For Your Romantic Comedy Viewing
<a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0145893/=”> Simply Irresistible</a>
<a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417751/=”>Her Minor Thing</a>
<a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289889/=”>Carolina</a> < isn’t completely a romantic comedy really but it’s sweet none the less
<a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0295289/=”>A Guy Thing</a>
<a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098635/=”>When Harry Met Sally</a>
<a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0272196/=”>Monkey Love</a> < indie romantic comedy
<a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117247/=”>One Fine Day</a>
NOTE: This is a blog I wrote years ago. I think it’s relevant since romantic comedies still aren’t very common. At least good romantic comedies are not common. I’ve seen maybe one or two good new ones in the last ten years.