Pin It

**** 1/2

After finding success as a director-for-hire with Elf and the Iron Man movies, Jon Favreau has made a welcome return to the indie fold with a film so funny and likeable it makes you wish he could do this sort of thing full-time and still earn a living. The writer/director plays Carl Casper, a celebrity chef who’s been cranking out the same menu at a tony L.A. restaurant for 10 years. Following a dispute with his boss (Dustin Hoffman) and an embarrassingly bad review from a popular online food critic (Oliver Platt), Casper faces a mid-life crisis: Suddenly his good name isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, and he’s out of a job with no prospects. Add to this a strained relationship with his precocious 12-year-old son (Emjay Anthony), and this is a chef at a crossroads.

He doesn't completely understand the power of social media, which only adds to his difficulties.

With moral support from his best friend (Scarlett Johansson), and ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), and financial help from her first husband (an eccentric millionaire played with the usual eccentric gusto by Robert Downey Jr.) Casper embarks on a new career, as the proprietor of a food truck that serves authentic Cuban sandwiches, arroz con pollo and other Latin specialties cooked to gourmet perfection. Accompanied by his son – who takes instantly to the family business – and line chef John Leguizamo, Kessler takes El Jefe (the business-on-wheels) from Miami to Los Angeles, with stops in New Orleans, Austin and other American food capitals. So it’s a road trip story, a male-bonding movie, and a food comedy with no unpleasant aftertaste.

Celebrity chef Roy Choi, who appears briefly as himself, was Favreau’s advisor on the film – so the many mouth-watering “food porn” shots of Casper at work (slicing, dicing and preparing) were actually performed by the writer/director himself. Indeed, there are precious little false flavors in Chef. It’s sweet but not cloying, a tremendously satisfying cinematic meal.

Don’t expect a sequel anytime soon, however. Favreau’s next project, for Disney, is a big-budget remake of The Jungle Book, combining live Action and CGI.

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no showtimes for Chef on Friday, August 1.
The next date is playing is Saturday, August 2 .

  • Pin It
  • It’s a road trip story, a male-bonding movie, and a food comedy with no unpleasant aftertaste.

Speaking of...

About The Author

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung

Bio:
Bill recently celebrated his fifth anniversary as Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor. He is a veteran music journalist whose work has been published around the world. In 2013, University Press of Florida published his non-fiction book Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought... more

More by Bill DeYoung

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Most: Read | Shared | Comments

Recent Comments

  • Re: Review: Lucy

    • Matt Brunson, you write some of the most enjoyable-to-read film reviews out there. Your work…

    • on July 30, 2014
  • Re: Review: Lucy

    • You probably need to stick to movie reviews. You are not intelligent enough to comment…

    • on July 25, 2014
  • More »

Movies This Week

More Filmtimes

or

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2014, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation