Monday, May 19, 2014

Chef Review - 3½ Stars

Jon Favreau pays tribute to food and the people who cook it as well as to fathers and sons and those of us who occasionally need to reboot the passion in our lives.  All of this comes together in the delightful “Chef” which Favreau  put together on a shoestring with help and a few cameos from his celebrity friends.  As the story begins we meet Jon working in a high-end L.A. restaurant awaiting a make or break restaurant review.  He wants to change the menu and get creative but the restaurant owner – Dustin Hoffman – wants him to stick to the same old same old—so he goes and gets a bad review for his efforts.  A few ill-chosen words and an unfortunate tweet lose Favreau  his job.  His ex-wife – played by Sofia Vergara (only in the movies would she be someone’s ex) gets in touch with her ex husband (another Favreau pal Robert Downey Jr. ) and voila!  Favreau gets a food truck.  But —  the truck is in Miami and he must cook and drive his way across the country including stops in foodcentric New Orleans and Austin where they visit the famous Franklin’s barbecue.  Along the way, Favreau bonds with his young son played by Emjay Anthony, and gets his mojo back. I pity the poor dieter who stumbles into “Chef.”  A scene of Favreau  making a grilled cheese sandwich for his son almost qualifies for an NC-17 rating.   You’ll leave a satisfied film lover.  You’ll also leave hungry.  Does it deliver what it promises?  A valentine to food and joy and passion.  Is it entertaining?  Very much.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Most certainly.