Jon Favreau's CHEF
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Chef is like a big sloppy puppy that jumps up on your lap and licks your face. You can’t help but like this but you also know that puppies can get pretty messy.
Life is like that. So it is with this food oriented feel-good movie that takes us across the country via food truck as the chef father, separated from his wife, reunites with his son. Along the way we have a star cameos by Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Downey Jr. They embed their characters with unique personalities despite their occasional silliness and their little time on screen. This is especially true of Johansson who thankfully displays visible humor and personality which is at odds with the characters she plays in Under the Skin and Lucy. Veteran John Leguizamo provides solid support throughout without any craziness.
The core of the movie is the evolving father-son relationship after the father, having lost a celebrity chef job, follows his dream to start up a food truck serving Cuban sandwiches.
Actor/director Favreau masterfully manages multiple and entertaining threads without losing sight of the main story focus. Themes include social media, road trip, lots of tasty food (including one hell of a grilled cheese sandwich), and lots of terrific music, especially Latin.
It is a fantasy, though. A guy follows his dream, reunites with his family, and gets to set up his own restaurant after silencing his critics. If you have seen Brad Bird’s Ratatouille you’ll be well prepared.
Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald