Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) was once the biggest up and coming chefs but he has hit a rut at his current job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant. After a bad review and being forced to compromise his creativity by the owner (Dustin Hoffman), Casper walks out. The bad review gets under his skin and after a brutal confrontation with the reviewer goes viral Chef Casper finds himself feeling a bit lost. To pass the time he joins his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) in Miami to take care of their son Percy while she has some work there. While there Chef Casper decides to get his creative juices back by launching a Cuban themed food truck. His friend Martin (John Leguizamo) and his son Percy help him get the truck in shape and the three of them hit the road back to LA and along the way Chef Casper rediscovers his passion for the kitchen. Starring Bobby Cannavale, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris, Robert Downey Jr., Russell Peters.
Chef is a five star restaurant meal including appetizer, main course and dessert that will satisfy every single craving you have as a movie goer. Written, directed and starring Jon Favreau you can tell with every scene that he put his heart and passion into this film. Some chefs say that if you love cooking you can taste the love in the food. I could taste the love in this movie.
I think I would equate this film to comfort food. There isn’t anything new or exciting about it but you crave, you need it and you definitely want it. The story of Chef hasn’t been done before but the feel of the film, the basics of it is nothing new or exciting. The trick is that Favreau managed to take all that comforting comedy and charm I have seen before and breathe new life into so that I couldn’t resist loving every second of this movie. It probably helped a bit that I am Food Network junky and this movie is jam-packed with almost sexual in nature food shots. Sorry if that is a bit graphic but the shots are graphic. Even making a simple grilled cheese becomes an event….and I have never had more food cravings than after leaving the theater from this movie.
Another plus is obviously the casting. If you look close you can tell that Favreau used all his connections from Iron Man to get the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson to take back seat roles. It works though. The cast melts together perfectly, like the 4 different cheeses on the grilled cheese in that scene I mentioned. It just works. Plus Jon Favreau and John Leguizamo play perfectly off one another. The crazy of Leguizamo and the passion yet calming of Favreau makes the whole film fun.
There is nothing terribly profound about Chef; but its message, the heart, the relationships, the love and care made my mouth water!
9/10 Stars – All the ingredients for a refreshingly spectacular film that will make you hungry for more!
On the surface, Chef seemed like it was going to be a simple and predictable movie, but it was far from it. I’ve noticed in the movie world that anything Jon Favreau touches ends up being pretty damn good (Ironman, Elf, Cowboys & Aliens). Remember, he was even Pete on Friends! Anyways, Chef starts out pretty simple with seasoned chef Carl preparing to dazzle a famous food critique and ends up getting torn apart because his owner wouldn’t let him prepare the meals he wanted to. At this point, the movie deviated from what I thought would happen as Carl makes some pretty big life changes. Chef begins to pile on the charm and the humor as Carl interacts more with his son who just wants to spend time with his dad after a divorce (although a pretty nice divorce from the looks of it seeing as his ex is nice and supportive). Between Father and Son, this is where the movie shines because they both offer something the other needs. Carl teaches his son all about cooking and the passion for something in life, and the son offers new age views, the willingness to learn from his father, and smarts regarding social networking (especially Twitter). From here the pair becomes inseparable. Add in the brother/uncle vibe in from John Leguizamo (he isn’t actually related to them), and this movie just soars. The 3 guys traveling the south in a food truck bonding over every little thing is what makes this movie a good for families (but over 14-15 years of age, the F word made this R rated). Last year there was a movie similar to this released in the summer (but not about cooking) named The Way Way Back that I raved about… well in 2014, I give you Chef! Not too complex but deep on many levels! A must see!
8/10 Stars – Even though it’s a tad predictable, the message Chef sends to the young and old is not to be missed!