Chef – Favreau Cooks Up Some Sentimentality – Review

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Photo Courtesy Open Road

I think I want to become a movie writer, director and star.  That’s the path for Jon Favreau, who wrote, directed and stars in Chef, and he has created a character who was married to Sofia Vergara, and has quite the intimate relationship with Scarlett Johansson.  This is proof Hollywood still is the land of dreams (dreams I want to experience).

Favreau plays Carl – a chef who is struggling with his career.  Once upon a time, he was the hot, up and coming maverick who amazed everyone with his talent, passion and potential.  Now, he’s cruising along as the chef at a prosperous restaurant, but not one that is daring and challenging.

This is pointed out to him by a food critic, who rocks Carl’s world with a bad review.  Before you know it, our chef finds himself in a Twitter war with the critic, losing his cool and getting fired by the restaurant’s owner.

Will Carl be able to recover?

What will he do next?

As you probably know by now, Carl will start a food truck, and Chef becomes this travel adventure our hero has with his estranged son.

Writer/director/star Favreau’s heart is in the right place with Chef.  He tries to create a movie all about a man lost in the world who finds a way to reconnect with the family and passion that should be the driving force in his life.  It’s admirable, and anyone who is sitting in the audience and doesn’t have a little pang of understanding and engage in a slight examination of his or her life is lying.

However, Chef is a very slow movie.  I anticipated the long, lingering shots of food, and Carl lovingly putting everything he has into its preparation, which is fine.  Yet, the movie has a very slow pace for no good reason.

Favreau’s plot crawls along like a snail trying to outrun the escargot chef.  Sadly, it’s almost an hour before we really get to the heart of Chef, and I don’t care how many of his movie star pals show up for little fun cameos, that is a bit too long to wait for the main course.

Granted, Favreau did come up with a great scam to travel the country and eat plenty of amazing food, but the ending is a bit too cutesy and tidy.

2_5waffles_sml2 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)

Chef is rated R for language, including some suggestive references.


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