Food, Glorious Food
Chef is a tasty film to drool over.
BY: EMILY KLINEFELTER & JENNIFER BARNETT
With Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday right around the corner the Movie Mavens were on the hunt for a movie about both food and small business. This made sense since we love to eat during the holiday season but we also love to support our local businesses AKA SHOP!
After a couple of weeks of throwing around ideas of what movie to review we finally landed on Jon Favreau’s 2014 movie, Chef. Jon Favreau directed, wrote and starred in this feel good movie. It has a star-packed cast and is really fun to watch.
The movie is about Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau). After 10 years of hard work, food critics have discovered his talents working in a 5 star restaurant run by no other than Dustin Hoffman, owner Riva. We immediately discover the two do not agree on much. Chef Carl wants to use his creativity and cook a menu that tests his culinary skills. Riva wants his Chef to stick to the tried and true menu and continue to cook the food that his customers know and obviously love.
One night a well-known culinary blogger comes into the restaurant to write a review of Carl’s food. It’s no secret that he is coming in and so Chef creates a menu that is sure to knock his socks off!! This creates some problems with Riva, as you can imagine…. This movie is great at showing all the effort a chef takes creating a menu and choosing all the right ingredients. We got to see Carl at the market, looking over all the available ingredients and prepping the food for the restaurant. There is a lot that we, as diners, don’t take into consideration when we sit down to a meal and expect everything to be perfect. These guys (and gals) work hard! It is clearly Chef Carl’s passion!
Having a strong passion for his career has contributed to sort of a downward spiral of Carl’s personal life. He is divorced and has a son who is desperate for his attention. He is at a crossroads of sorts and needs to start making decisions that will direct him on a path more conducive to creative cooking, success and of course, more time to be a father! Chef is lucky to have some great people in his life. We meet his beautiful, ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) who suggests that Carl help her out of a tough spot and at the same time manages to get Carl to spend more time with his son, and doing all the things he used to love; as she put it, find his Mojo!
Miami seems to be the place to find your Mojo! While in Miami, Carl takes on a new project with the help of his ex-wives, ex-husband Marvin (Robert Downey Jr.). He begins to embrace all the things he loves and as a result also begins to recognize all that he has been taking for granted. This movie allowed us to watch Chef Carl’s eyes open to everything he was missing right in front of his face the whole time! Carl turns back to the basics and with the help of his best friend Martin (John Leguizamo) and his son, the social networking wiz, the gang hits the road to try and revive his reputation and love of cooking.
This movie made us drool the entire time (our dinners suddenly became not so satisfying) as well as smile from ear to ear. Be sure to stock up on snacks for this one, but make them really good snacks! This movie inspires, it encourages, and it shows the effects of social media! It will make you reflect on your career path, envision your future for what it should/could be, it will give you a nudge if that’s what you need and it will make you hungry!! Just in time for Thanksgiving! It is also in time for Small Business Saturday! Check it out to see what happens and what changes occur. Jon Favreau is one of our new favorites! It didn’t hurt the movie, at all, to have Scarlett Johansson and Oliver Platt grace the screen! Wow! What a great cast. The little boy who plays Chef’s son, Emjay Anthony, is adorable as well.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is a “feel good movie”. These kinds of movies are hard to come by these days. Just ask Emily, who kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. She was sure that John Leguizamo was a bad guy! He is ultimately the best friend EVER!! Just sit back and enjoy it. It is a delicious movie! Let it make you smile (and hungry). Then go hug all the people who love and support you! Then go support the people in your life! Like all the hard working small business owners in town! They may make it look easy, but they work really hard. We definitely have a renewed respect for Chefs! We would recommend this movie to everyone! The language and banter between the men gets a little inappropriate at times but most of the time it just made us laugh.
Our ratings for this film – Overall 4.5/5, Happy Tears 1/5, Giggles 5/5, Soundtrack 2/5
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Jon Favreau
Adventure, Comedy, Drama