My immediate reaction to the first five seconds of No Reservations was, “OH NO, it’s a satire! Well, let’s see”.
Because there may not be a genre that can miss as badly as satire, and No Reservations is unabashed. It introduces Peter and Marilyn Whiteman, and is about as reductive as one could imagine, perhaps to the point of stereotype. All that being said, writer–director Trevor Carroll does his best to make a really funny film.
The performances are all absurdly over-the-top in that perfect Stepford Wives kind of way. There’s great comedy quick-cutting right out of an Edgar Wright film, and some truly bizarre “fight” sequences. In small, isolated doses, it absolutely works. In the big picture, though, it isn’t quite sophisticated enough of a satire.
Everything is right there on the surface. So, the barbs aren’t quite as sharp as they should be – it all comes off as a Screenwriting 101 attempt at satire, especially given the ending of the film.
It’s disingenuous to say that No Reservations is a poor film, because it clocks in a just under 10 minutes and has some incredibly funny moments. Overall, it just doesn’t quite come together, as the simplistic execution of the story squanders some of the best moments.
Screens (as part of The Witching Hour Shorts Programme):
Friday, October 20, 11:59 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox
Ticket information can be found at the imagineNATIVE website.