Chef

chef_movie_still

 

Chef
Starring Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt and Sofia Vergara
Directed by Jon Favreau
Rated R for language, including some suggestive references

Former Iron Man director Jon Favreau goes back to his indie roots with this film about a talented chef who is stuck in a rut when he fights with the restaurant owner he works for (Hoffman) and quits his cush job in order to do what he wants in his own food truck.

Being a huge fan of his first film, Swingers, I was extremely excited to see him go back to a relatively small budget, even if it’s kind of cheating since he now has access to some really big names who are willing to work on the cheap just to have fun with him. That being said, the film is, for the most part, pretty good. There are some big mistakes that almost damage the overall experience, but the main ingredients, acting, screenplay and production, are top notch. I wish he would have gotten some help in the story category though.

If I were a food critic, my review might read something like this:

The meal started with a very simple yet elegant appetizer that created a fulfilled wish during the creative and complex entree. Unfortunately, rather than give us dessert, the waiter merely came by the table and asked us how it tasted. How weird is that? Shouldn’t a meal like this have something to show for dessert?

In actuality, the movie does a terrific job presenting food porn. I’ve never wanted to be on a film set so bad as when the group showed up at Franklin BBQ in Austin and walked away with several briskets. This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to eating at Franklin and I swear I could actually smell the meat in the movie theater. But I couldn’t help but be disappointed that Favreau basically skipped the ending. It felt like they might have considered putting a third act in place, but chose rather to just show the aftermath of that third act instead. That immediately turned a four star meal into a three. B

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