Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Tonight I watched No Reservations, the latest on my Netflix queue, which I'm thinking of giving up because I never have time to watch movies anymore. It was cute, although not great, but the thing that struck me and E, is how creepy it could have been. If we didn't know we were watching a romantic dramedy that was going to turn out happy in the end, we might have been at the edge of our seats expecting murder and mayhem.

The film is about Kate, a very good chef in New York who suddenly is charged with taking care of her orphaned niece, Zoe. Then a cute new chef, Nick (btw, why are Nicks always cute?!), comes along at her restaurant, and she resents him at first but then they fall in love. The creepiness starts when Kate asks her downstairs neighbor, who is always trying to go out with her, to look after Zoe one night when she has to work late. She gives him a key to her apartment! The movie could have easily taken a dire turn for the worse here. But luckily the neighbor doesn't turn out to be a psychopath.

Soon after, Nick tells Kate that he could have had any job but he wanted to work with her, even though they have just met. Wierdo alert! I have to admit that I would feel strange about someone telling me that. Then, when Nick promptly starts buttering up Zoe, and charming his way into Kate's heart, E and I started to wonder if there was going to be a dramatic twist that revealed Nick to be a spy sent from another restaurant to trick Kate into spilling the secrets of her most secret recipe. No such drama. Turns out Nick really just liked Kate, and wasn't up to no good. He could have been a psychopath, too, and there was even a moment when he could have turned out to be a kidnapper. But no.

I heard somewhere that something like 80 percent of the characters in romantic comedies would be in jail if they did in real life what the screen permits. And yet, these movies are often what we base our romantic standards on. So, I don't know if its a good thing or not that E and I both felt creepy vibes when watching No Reservations. I want to think that my heart is open to romance, and yet I also need to keep my guard up because, as a young woman in a big city, I want to be safe. Not that I have much to worry about right now... I feel like I'm the one doing all the chasing. I need some guy to come along and hold a boom-box playing Peter Gabriel songs outside my window, or feed me tiramisu with a blindfold on, or order me to go to the opera with him, and then I'll be able to better tell you if these things are romantic or creepy. For now, let's just say they are romantic, and I want them to happen to me sometime soon.


Donnie Barnes said...

I almost think you're a victim of watching a movie so long after its theatrical release that you have no pretense you are watching it under (or just a very vague one).

I watched it not long after it was released on DVD (I really like CZJ) and didn't get any of those vibes. But I had a very good idea of what it was about based on a lot of recent viewings of the trailers and such, too.

But that all says something about the quality of the movie, too. If you need to be spoon-fed what it *will* be about before you watch it just so you'll "get it" and not just get creeped out by it, well, it probably wasn't a very well done movie. And in this case, I'd say that's true. Cute, yes, I agree. But not a keeper, that's for sure.

And see, I'm commenting again. Whee....I'm gonna make you wish you hadn't told me to suck it up and do it. :-)

Lady Holiday said...

I don't think guys get the same creepy vibes as girls, though. We are constantly bombarded with stories of violence by men against women (true crime shows teach us that its usually the husband or the boyfriend who is the killer) and warned about our safety, and have developed inner creepiness warning systems.

Watching this movie, I knew logically that it was a romance--I was never confused, but felt that if it were real life, the men would be creepy.

Just Julie said...

Yes! Someone else sees the complete craziness of romcoms. If any of the stuff that goes in those things really happened I'm pretty sure we'd be freaked out by it. And we totally think it's okay that they always fall in love in a week. So unrealistic. And yet I love them...

Stephanie said...

I totally got the creepy vibe when I watched that movie too! I probably saw it a year ago, which was still well after its release. I kept thinking something terrible was going to happen and I was so confused because I had thought it was supposed to be a romantic comedy. It's not fun being on the edge of your seat during a romantic comedy.