Movie buffs know Jon Favreau.
His answering machine antics in Swingers (1996) is one of THE memorable movie scenes of all time. He also wrote that movie.
Since then he’s become a recognizable face to most casual movie goers appearing in dozens of mostly non-staring roles.
Arguably his greatest success has come from behind the camera. He directed Will Ferrel in Elf (2003) to become a new holiday classic. More recently he directed Iron Man 1 and 2 to become worldwide blockbusters.
Chef is about a different kind of super hero. Chef is the story of a dad finding himself while simultaneously reconnecting with his 10 year-old son. It is very loosely based on the journey made by chef Roy Choi who went from high class restaurant to food truck.
Chef is chock full of ridiculous contrivances and “cat’s in the cradle” stereotyping that could really take you out of the movie if you paid attention to them, but you won’t.
This is because the movie is incredibly charming on so many levels. The actors, the locations, the music, and oh-my-god, the food. Chef Choi was “involved in every food scene” said Favreau.
I have never seen a more beautiful grilled cheese sandwich prepared and cooked than the one in this film.
So while we’re at it – let’s develop that analogy a bit.
Chef the movie is like a grilled cheese sandwich. Familiar, not spectacular, but when done well and served at the right time, the result can be incredibly satisfying.
Chef has great pacing, rich performances, great cameos and a wonderful closing homage to Cinema Paradiso that delivers a similar emotional wallop.
Favreau has really done well here. This is clearly a mature film made by a mature artist. His writing and directing are flawless.
Chef successfully achieves everything it aims for. It’s funny, sweet and poignant. You almost totally forget how preposterous it is for Favreau to be bedding BOTH Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vergara. That’s saying something.
Given an R rating mostly for language and content. I can’t image this film offending anyone. A great start to the summer movie season for those with adult sensibilities.