“You’re trending, bro!”
Celebrity Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) are in a pinch. He’s divorced, having a hard time bonding with his kid (Emjay Anthony), and feeling creatively stifled by his boss, which made things worse when a super-notorious food blogger gave him a bad review, which explains why twitter is evil, which results in a heated argument, which somehow created a whole mess that went viral on youtube, which frustrates him, and oh… ended up getting him fired. When his ex-wife (Sofía Vergara) suggest him to be independent instead of going back to be someone else’s employee, Carl realise he’s having a chance to reclaim his creative freedom and really fulfill his dreams.
I watched Chef in the middle of my US Masterchef season 5 marathon (which cuntessa won, that b*tch!) as well as working on a food related project. So i am in the middle of that foodie mood. For me chef looked like those haute cuisine, perhaps borrowing from the film: ‘…a shirred egg with a dollop of caviar on top, as an excuse from the chef to overcharge us for his insecurity and lack of imagination‘. I agree the film is fairly unimaginative. It took a some formulaic materials (road movie, father and son, dream pursuers, etc), then tried to blend it together and served it beautifully on a clean white plate. I think because of its predictable arc, i was disappointed when Favreau did not make a bit more emphasis on the significance of food in the film.
The entire plot, can be changed into another (non-food/cooking) setting altogether and it still will remain the same. The word (food) porn can not be more appropriate. Some of the details bugs me (really, a super hot wife who cleans you out yet still in a very amicable relationship with and how much does a exec chef get paid for), really? I understand Favreau trying to be simple his simplicity felt like its stuck between commercial and indie type realism. But still the food truck and all the social media gizmos shows the timeliness of the film. Making it relatable to the foodie and lifestyle culture nowadays. Just like him decorating the plates in the movie, Favreau and his set of good casts (plus not-so-random cameos of his previous collaborators) delivered a visually inviting flick.
Perhaps just like food not everyone’s palate will be satisfied with this particular feature. If you are looking for a feel-good film (perhaps looking for food porn) you might not be disappointed. But for me, i wished the film will be more like that grilled cheese sandwich in the film, simple yet rich with (cheese) textures, and in the end will be more satisfying.
DIRECTOR Jon Favreau | PRODUCER Jon Favreau, Karen Gilchrist, Sergei Bespalov | WRITER Jon Favreau | CINEMATOGRAPHER Kramer Morgenthau | EDITOR Robert Leighton | STUDIO Fairview Entertainment, Aldamaisa Entertainment | COUNTRY United States | RUNNING TIME 114 minutes | RELEASE May 9, 2014
STARRING Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey, Jr., Emjay Anthony
DID YOU KNOW? The short scene with Carl and Percy in the cinema features the audio from Iron Man’s repulsor rays, as a nod to Jon Favreau’s previous work with the Iron Man films.