Chef is one of those movies that you go to see for two simple reasons, 1) for the stars in it, and 2), as a reprieve from the mindless blockbusters that we are continuously bombarded with.
The film was written and directed by Jon Favreau, whose began his career with Swingers, but is well known these days for his work with Marvel. Favreau here is also, for once, in the lead, something that audiences rarely see. Favreau plays Carl Casper, a well renowned chef whose career takes a nosedive after an appalling review from the most famous food critic in town, Ramsey Michel. After having a meltdown that is posted on the internet, Carl soon finds himself unemployed and trending, a fact which leads him to go back to his roots in Miami and to rediscover his love of food and cooking.
The film is heartwarming, endearing and a breath of fresh air amongst the endless mega hits. The film serves as a reminder that a great story doesn’t need explosions or mutants or a dystopic future to engage its audience. It is simple, based in the here and now where social media is our overlord and can both destroy and build us up. It depicts the everyday man who is in the throes of a midlife crisis, divorced and wary and unsure of fatherhood. It takes us on a journey of rediscovery, of finding out what makes us truly happy, even if it means having to go back to where it all started.
It also makes me want to try a Cubanos.
The film also stars an eclectic cast including Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr, Dustin Hoffman and Oliver Platt.
I give the film a 4.5 out of 5.