Jon Favreau’s recent passion project takes the audience on a charming and delectable ride of self-discovery.
Carl Casper (Favreau) is a high strung chef who has spent years building up his name within the food industry. But when one bad online review by the top food critic in LA gets blasted all over twitter Carl seems to take it personally and can’t shake the negative remarks. This leads him to get on twitter himself, and start a fight with the well-known critic who has quite the following. Eventually, the two are face to face in the restaurant and Carl has a major breakdown. He completely goes off on a screaming rampage.
Unfortunately for Carl, the general public was there to witness and film the entire thing. After the video of his explosion goes viral, Carl is unable to find work in any LA restaurant. But this downfall goes uphill quick, once Carl recognizes that this is really a blessing in disguise. The truth is he’s dreadfully unhappy with his life. Besides the fact that he has been unable to truly share his unique culinary skills, he is also divorced from his wife (Sofia Vergara) and barely knows his son (Emjay Anthony).
During a last minute trip to Miami, he is inspired by the cooking that started it all and decides to start up a food truck. Thus, beginning the predictable yet heartwarming road trip of father/son bonding and realizing what really makes you happy in life. Chef also showed how a “hater’s” words can also be the fuel that pushes you to succeed at your dreams.
The magnificent ensemble cast is rounded out by Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, and many more. You can’t help but fall for the charisma of this film. It is easily relatable to anyone who feels passionate about doing anything they love. And as a film critic myself, I felt motivated by the fact that Carl was making his love for cooking a career no matter what the stipulations were. I also felt a little bit of guilt for any bad review I have given in the past. Obviously I can’t stop, but know that all reviews from an objective standpoint.
The film also greatly exemplifies the use of social media. It is amazing how fast one tweet or Facebook post can become an internet sensation. And if used correctly, it can be the best marketing tool.
Be sure to either eat before or dine during, because the mouth-watering dishes prepared throughout the film will have your stomachs growling. And honestly, there is nothing you can eat after this movie that will be as satisfying as the dishes you have just seen. (Speaking of, can I get the recipe to EVERYTHING that was cooked in this film?)
Chef is a simple story that isn’t looking to compete with box office blockbusters (However, I did enjoy it more than Godzilla). It’s a fun family film with a star-studded cast that includes plenty of laughs and a sincere message about following your heart.
Chef opens in select theaters May 16.