Chef : Film Review

Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 22.49.39

Rated: 18, 114 mins

Director: Jon Favreau

Starring: Jon FavreauScarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara, Robert Downey Jr, Emjay Anthony

Unsurprisingly this heart-warming movie follows the life of chef, Carl Casper (Jon Favreau). We meet Carl when he’s working at a restaurant in Los Angeles and gearing up for an important critic and food blogger Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) who will be visiting his restaurant that evening. 

Whilst chef seems in control, it’s not actually Carl’s restaurant and he has to adhere to the rules of Riva (Dustin Hoffman), by going against his instincts and running the standard menu for the critic. The restaurant winds up with a lousy online review which starts to go viral. This is where Carl discovers twitter, namely its growing influence and power across all industries and walks of life. After a brief fall from grace and a high-profile twitter spat with Ramsey, Carl embarks upon a new journey of his own with his food truck El Jefe. Carl gets hold of a truck in Miami, where his initial career began as a chef,  and along with trusted sous chef Martin (John Leguizamo) and his son Percy (Emjay Anthony) he drives back to LA stopping off in cities along the way. Twitter, which was initially Carl’s downfall, is also his revival. Driving the food truck back from Miami to LA, his son uses twitter to give momentum to their new business and manages to secure lines of people waiting for their food at each city they stop in.

All in all, it’s a nice film. It’s fairly cheesy that chef discovers the opportunity to start afresh from where his career all began and there’s some rather blatant messages resonating in the film like cliches of sometimes having to move backwards before we can go forwards, but it all means well.

There’s a dusting of drama, but it’s all fairly normal stuff – losing a job, having a bad day at work, family trouble. It’s an interesting look at the negativity and positivity to be found with social media and the power this can have upon individuals and companies who don’t respect its force. It’s also a feel-good summer film, bringing family life and fun to the screen demonstrating the results hard-work and passion can give you.

All in all I left the film a little confused, I couldn’t quite pin my finger on anything I didn’t like, but equally I wasn’t bowled over either. It was quite a happy, mid-way film with no real extreme troughs or peaks to hook you in, but it wasn’t uninteresting. I feel a little lukewarm about it all, but one thing is for certain, make sure you have a cinema snack as the film left me starving!


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