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No Reservations vs. Ratatouille: No Contest

No Reservations has no chance this Friday, when it goes head-to-head against The Simpsons Movie. The Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart vehicle probably doesn't hold up to Ratatouille either, which many from the restaurant industry consider the best behind-the-scenes look at a commercial kitchen ever. If you only saw the two food movies through merchandising and consultants, which one is better?

According to Variety, No Reservations has exclusive tie-ins with Rachel Ray's talk show, Bon Appetit magazine, and Dean and DeLuca. LA Magazine did a story on hunky Aaron Eckhart training with Josiah Citrin at Melisse. He and Catherine Zeta-Jones also trained at Fiamma in New York City. Little Abigail Breslin is launching a kid's menu for The Palm. Tomorrow, July 24, the first 100 customers to order off of the summer menu between 5pm and 7pm at either Palm restaurants get free passes to an advance screening of the movie. They're practically shoving it down our throats.

Ratatouille merchandise includes children's cookware at Sur La Table and $12.99 chardonnay at Costco, which just goes to show that this movie was more for adults than the kiddies. Thomas Keller was the consulting chef, and creator Brad Bird interned at the French Laundry. On paper, it's a toss up, although No Reservations seems more desperate. Then again, they have Squishees and donuts to contend with.
· Warners cooks up promo menu [Variety]
· Disney dishes up a gamble with Ratatouille [Chicago Tribune]
· Zeta-Jones & Eckhart Have No Reservations [ComingSoon.net]

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