Reel Freak

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Review – Chef (2014)

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Chef is a delightful and fun indie film; directed, produced, written by, AND starring Jon Favreau.  A story of a man who wants nothing more than to follow his dreams, and does so with the help of his family and friends; Chef takes you on a trip across the country, with enough star-power and heart to keep you along for the ride.

Carl Casper (Favreau) is a chef working at a successful restaurant in Los Angeles, who often feels limited by the food that he is able to serve.  When he is fired over an internet skirmish with a food critic, he decides to take a trip with his son and ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) to his home of Miami to make a fresh start.  With the help of an old acquaintance Marvin (Robert Downey Jr.), Casper decides to purchase a food truck, in order to sell his favorite foods.  Along the way, the chef forms a new bond with his son and friends by doing what he loves; cooking.

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Favreau proves once again here that his directing and acting chops are a force to be reckoned with.  The fact that he wrote and produced the film as well is just a little something extra.  He seems perfect for the role of a devoted, heartfelt chef, and plays it off perfectly.

Support from all-star actors such as Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman and Sofia Vergara feel organic each time they make appearances, and seem to have great chemistry with Favreau (Downey and Johansson having worked with him a fair amount previously).

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The story of Chef not only revolves around the life of a man who is at a struggling point in life, but also deals with just how quickly someone’s life can be made or broken by the internet or social media.  Twitter plays a huge factor throughout the movie; first by tearing Casper’s career apart, but then reviving it in the second half of the movie.

Overall, Jon Favreau is at the top of his game with this small-but-lovable hit Chef, especially coming fresh off of a few big blockbusters in recent years.  With a great cast and a story that’s thoughtfully penned, you won’t want to miss it.

Rating: 7.0/10

3.5 stars

 

– Josh Sazin, 5/31/14

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