Thursday, 25 September 2014

Review: Chef (2014)

I wanted to see this at the cinema but ended up missing it but then I got on a(nother) flight and there it was in the menu (pun intended?), happy days! Or maybe not, one thing I always find on planes is that I'm hungry and always when there is no food being served so watching a film about this amazing food had my dribbling into my lap (not a good look!)

Chef is about Carl Casper, head chef at a fancy restaurant whose creativity is being stunted by 'stuck in the mud' boss Riva (Dustin Hoffman) which leads to a bad review by Ramsey Michael (Oliver Platt) which in turn leads to a viral twitter video and the loss of his job.  Instead of begging for his job back he decided to follow his creative ideas and buys a food truck...

This film was quite slow moving to start with but caught up once Carl invests in his food truck of dreams.  One of my fellow bloggers called this 'food porn' and they are not wrong.  The characters are good, the artsy shots of the truck and chalkboards are good, the comedy is good but the food...the food is EPIC.  It's making me hungry just thinking about.  Plus having just visited New Orleans for the first time it was amazing to see the sights on camera (I did sample the CafĂ© Du Monde Beignets that are mentioned in the film and they were incredible) and hear Carl announce that "this isn't Bourbon street that's for tourists, this is Frenchman Street..."

I agree completely, Chef started off really slow. I think the amazing food kept me going, but once we actually got to Carl buying the truck, the story flowed much better and the time whizzed by!

It's listed on IMDB as a comedy but I saw it as more of a drama as it was dealing with serious issues (and really wasn't all that funny).  The way the film was shot was different to anything I have seen, but it helped the flow of the film, so even the slower parts were so well shot that you almost failed to notice.

It had a few funny moments for sure, I don't think I'll ever stop laughing at the term 'amuse douche' but definitely not a comedy in my book. This was a heart-warming drama for me.

I was nervous about Jon Favreau taking a lead role, I wasn't sure whether he could step up but I think he is supported so well by John Leguizamo's supportive buddy Martin and Sofia Vergara's general charm as ex-wife Inez, that he couldn't really fail.  I even liked Percy (Emjay Anthony) when the child character in this type of film usually annoys me, he brings a real likability to character and you just want to hug him when you realise how much he brings to the business. Percy was an absolute sweetheart and the coolest social media guru I've ever seen!

I was trying to work out what else I had seen John Leguizamo in, and it wasn't until I turned away from the screen and realised it was actually his voice I recognised him from! He was absolutely fantastic in this and I can't wait to see more of his work. (Ice Age by any chance?!)

Is it just me though or did Chef have some huge names in that it really didn't need? How much did they pay Robert Downey Jr. for his very small role? Did we really need Scarlett Johansson at all?

Definitely watch this film, but do it after dinner otherwise you will find yourself eating yourself out of house and home. Scrap that, I watched this straight after dinner and still wanted to eat the contents of my fridge!

1 comment:

  1. Nice review ladies! I wish I had made a dinner reservation at my favorite restaurant AFTER watching this. My popcorn felt so inadequate.