Movie:  Chef

Rating:  4 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is a man who loves food.  He loves to eat, he loves to cook great dishes that people will appreciate, and he loves his life as a chef at a fashionable restaurant in California.  If only the owner of the restaurant, Riva (Dustin Hoffman), would stop thinking about quantity over quality.  When famed food critic Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) is coming to critique the restaurant’s menu, Carl is all set to dazzle the critic with new and daring palate pleasers, but Riva demands the tried and true menu is the way to go.  Carl departs the restaurant in spectacular fashion, setting the Twitter universe into a trending frenzy.  Lady friend Molly (Scarlett Johansson) gives him a sympathetic shoulder, and a gentle shove for Carl to go and find something that makes him truly happy.

Carl’s ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) is still his closest confident, and she urges Carl to spend time with their son Percy (Emjay Anthony) for some father-son bonding.  This begins a  journey of discovery on many levels.  There are wonderful adventures in Miami, New Orleans, and Austin, interesting people, feel good scenes, a terrific cameo, and most of all, food that makes you want to run out of the theater and find a good restaurant!

Jon Favreau has written and directed a real gem.  He was able to get big name actors in the film because it’s so darn good.  It reminds the audience about what films ought to be, and seldom are.  Do yourself a favor and see this movie.  Not a bad sound track, either.

Actors to Watch:  John Leguizamo has a big role in this movie, and he is always worth watching.  Newcomer Nili Fuller (Marvin’s assistant, Candy) has a cameo, but guys definitely will want to see her more in the future.

Dialogue Nuggets:  “If you went to a Stones concert and Mick Jagger didn’t do Satisfaction, would you be happy?”

“You wouldn’t know a good meal if it sat on your face!”

“I’m putting a little corn starch on my huevos; it’s a little humid down there.”

Post Credits Stuff:  As the credits roll, there are some interesting out-takes.  At the very end of the credits, the real chef is teaching Jon Favreau a thing or two.




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