Chef is a a fun, feel-good movie about chasing your dreams and living for yourself. It’s also about the blossoming relationship between a father and a son. It also makes you really, really hungry. I mean, seriously. I’m a total foodie and my mouth was basically watering throughout the entire movie. The plates of food they show look seriously delicious.
Chef stars Jon Favreau (who also wrote, produced and directed the film) as Carl Casper, a chef who works at a restaurant but feels stunted because the owner doesn’t let him expand his creative option. He cooks the same menu over and over again. When a critic calls him out on it, he loses it and inadvertently starts a flame war with him on Twitter, which leads Carl, through a series of funny events, to being fired.
What at first seemed like a misfortune turns out to be a chance for Carl to reconnect with his son and ex-wife and also build a new business. The movie doesn’t go into details as to why Carl is such a distant father or why he and his ex-wife (portrayed by Sofia Vergara) broke up, but it doesn’t have to because we really don’t care. Throughout the movie, we follow Carl on his adventure of starting his food-truck business and establishing a genuine relationship with his son, which is the best and sincerest part of the film.
The characters felt real, and so did the plot. There weren’t any sensational elements to it, which made the film entirely relatable for the audience. It really felt like normal people working out through normal life problems. It’s fresh. The other thing I liked was the latin element in the film. I’m panamanian, so seeing a movie paying tribute to latin culture was obviously a plus.
Favreau is quick-witted throughout the film and hilarious in certain moments of it. Sofia Vergara was great as the kind-hearted, reasonable ex-wife. I’ve only ever seen her in Modern Family, so this was a nice change of role. Robert Downey Jr. was excellent as her disperse, unfocused and eccentric ex-husband, because, well, Robert Downey Jr. is sort of disperse, unfocused, and eccentric, isn’t he? As for Scarlett Johansson, I’m a fan, seeing as in my opinion she approaches every role she’s in with genuine honesty and respect for the character she’s incarnating. This was no different, so no disappointments there. The funniest character was portrayed by John Leguizamo, Carl’s latin sidekick.
The only thing I probably didn’t like was that sometimes felt like they were advertising Twitter. Like Twitter paid the movie-makers to feature prominently in the film or something. Who knows, it’s really just a tiny little annoying thing in an otherwise family-friendly, feel-good movie. If you need to relax and be reminded that people are good and that family is important, watch this film.