Mostly Reservations

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the recent film called No ReservationsAbigale Breslin was nominated for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress for the film.  But what very few of you may know is that this film is a complete ripoff of a German film called Bella Martha.

I can’t remember ever seeing a remake of a film where they so wholly ignored the fact that they were a remake.  Usually somewhere on the box, or in the commercials they mention the original film.  Not so for No Reservations.  Being a fan of Bella Martha for some time I was eager to watch No Reservations, having recognized the plot from the commercials.  So, some time ago I rented it to compare the films.  This weekend I rented both again so my mother and Husband could watch them too.  We had some interesting discussions on the films.

SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!!!  Read no farther if you don’t want the details of No Reservations or Bella Martha revealed to you.

Most of the dialog (I would estimate about 85%) was taken directly from the subtitles of Bella Martha.  I have it from a reliable source (my mother) that the subitles are not a very accurate translation.  So, more correctly No Reservations is a ripoff of the poorly translated subtitles of Bella Martha.

Another thing that was very interesting was the differences.  In America, the idea of turning a child over to a parent they have never met, having them leave another relative they have known and lived with is a rather shocking idea.  I have gotten the impression that in Europe (and correct me if I’m wrong any of you Europeans out their) that this concept is less startling.

In Bella Martha their is a scene, shortly after she turns Lina over to her father, where she walks into the empty restaurant kitchen and their is an interesting transition to where Martha does not move but the kitchen becomes filled.  I found it interesting as it indicates her mindset about her life.  Any understanding you get of Kate’s life and mind in No Reservations is all based on dialog, not subtle and well done filmaking.

Though I am generally a fan of Catherine Zeta-Jones, I didn’t think she did as good of a job as the lead as Martina Gedeck, good, but not as good.  I wasn’t a fan of Aaron Eckhart as the love interest/crazy chef at all.  The acting was much more real in Bella Martha, although I did prefer the No Reservations version raw steak scene and I liked the addition of opening a little cafe at the end (although in Bella Martha they do a scene that I indicates such a plan).  I vastly preferred the whole wrap up ending of Bella Martha, particularly the fact that they get married.


All in all, I liked both films.  I perfer Bella Martha, but I would also recomend No Reservations.



One thought on “Mostly Reservations

  1. Steve July 25, 2008 at 1:43 pm Reply

    Er, nope we don’t do that soert of thing over here. Can’t speak for the Germans though…


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