Director: Jon Favreau; Main Cast: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Emjay Anthony, Scarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara;
This is a feel-good movie written and directed by Jon Favreau, mostly known for directing Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens. It is a comeback story about Carl (Favreau), the titular chef, who loses his job after a bad review from a critic and a melt-down gone viral on internet. Notwithstanding the fact that all the cliches are in it (unappreciated genius, workaholic, divorced with difficult relationship with his son…) the story works well because it has a nice pace, some good humor and the acting is up-to-par. Carl realises, with some help from his ex-wife Inez (Vergara), that he should go back to where he started: making cuban sandwiches on a food truck. The second act of the film is an on the road buddy comedy: Carl is helped by his friend and fellow cook Martin (Leguizamo) and his 10-year-old son Percy (Anthony) on a journey of rediscovery, appreciating the simple pleasures of life and the joy of cooking. On this trip from Florida back to Los Angeles, Carl’s food truck reaches celebrity status thanks to his social media savvy son (a true marketing genius!) and life will smile to him again (obviously). As I said, the film is nothing new but Favreau manages to balance very well the buddy banter, the father/son moments, the self-introspection and the cooking. In addition he has great on-screen chemistry with all the other actors, in particular with Leguizamo and young Anthony, and a knack for making the father/son scenes sweet but not cloyingly so. I should also issue a warning: there’s a fair amount of food porn during the film so I strongly suggest eating before watching otherwise you end up feeling famished when the closing credits start to roll (as I did!). Enjoyable —7/10
8 responses to “Chef”
Reblogged this on Life's a Colorful War.
I loved that movie and had a horrible Cuban sandwich and yucca craving afterward.
You had me at “food porn”. Looking forward to this one.
Prepare yourself and enjoy 😉
Glad to read that we both saw this film the same way. It never aims for outright gags, preferring instead a sunny tone and an ambition to make us feel good. Your’e so right about the “food porn”. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
I needed a feel-good movie and your review made me curious, I’m glad I’ve watched it.
Well, I’m really glad you liked it. The Latin music added even further flavour, I thought.
I agree, there’s a Buena Vista Social Club moment that I particularly liked!