Thu 28 Aug 2014
One just needs to search how many movies include the word ‘chef’ in their name in order to understand how daring an enterprise director-writer-actor Jon Favreau took upon himself in making yet another comedy about master cooks. No need to mention, not all films about ‘chefs’ include ‘chef’ in their title. And yet, here it is, Chef is the comedy of this summer, at least in what I am concerned.
I know too little about Cuban food, and even less about Cuban junk-food. Good chances are however that I will taste some at the first opportunity to despite the protests of my dietician. The rather trivial story is about a cook who cannot really exercise his art, and has the guts and will to quit at the right time, and the luck plus support from a wonderful kid and delicious ex and future wife to make it in the change of path. The understory is maybe about the director Jon Favreau himself and his fight to make a film which is as much a crowd pleaser as Cuban sandwiches are, but can also contain and radiate quality despite what critics say.
There are certainly many good reasons to like this film. Some are related to acting, starting with Favreau himself who is so good that I completely forgot that he is also a director, until the presence of stars like Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr., or Scarlett Johanssohn who visibly enjoy being on that screen. There may be also one more reason and this is the ‘I’ll do it my way’ message of the film which may have been the motto of the director-writer-actor himself when daring to turn what should be a very over-used theme into a nicely paced and fresh comedy – one of the best I have seen lately. The character has passion, the director has passion, and as a viewer I fully bought it.