Chef 2014 Movie Scene Jon Favreau as Carl Casper and his son looking at John Leguizamo as Martin's phone with a picture of a delicious sandwich

Chef [2014]

It takes a lot of effort to make a good lighthearted movie you can watch any time. A movie with no explosions, murders, or intense situations that still captures your attention. And leaves you in a good mood. Well, Chef is exactly that kind of a movie. Featuring an all-star cast, a heartwarming story, and excellent pacing, it’s very easy to watch. And love. We will be following Carl Casper, a famous chef, who after an incident at the restaurant where he works, decides to do something different. He replaces the glamorous setting with a basic food truck, a move which will enable him to do what he loves most. And that is to prepare the meals he loves.

You can clearly feel that Jon Favreau, who wrote and directed Chef, put a lot of effort into it. An actual food truck chef Roy Choi helped him with that. This is why the movie feels authentic. The script is well-written and there’s a positive message behind the main story. You will like this move even if you don’t like cooking. I know because I don’t like cooking that much and I freaking loved it. Although I have been getting into it after watching Anthony Bourdain. And if you like watching cooking videos or stuff like that, get ready for some food porn! Yes, you read that right, Chef is a definition of food porn.

About thirty minutes in, my tummy started rumbling, and not just because I smoked a fat joint. The humor is subtle and intelligent along with a couple of emotional scenes. However, this is a lighthearted comedy that’s not meant to put you down. It’s meant to elevate you in the most truthful and basic ways. The message is simple: do what you love and follow your dreams wherever they may take you. Hell, you’re reading these lines exactly because I did that some fifteen years ago. Speaking of past and present, Chef also tackles modern trends. I mean, Carl gets into a lot of trouble after tweeting something.

When it comes to the cast, in the lead role we have Jon who looks like an actual chef. Apparently, this man is multi-talented and can act pretty well. In supporting roles, we have a veritable list of Hollywood celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., and Sofía Vergara. I don’t want to waste too much time on performances as you already know they were all good. Chef is the kind of movie we sorely need right now. A movie you can watch with your partner, family, pretty much anybody.

We all have to eat, it’s one of our basic needs. So, if we’re already eating, why not make it a thing? A thing we can bond over and the world might become a better place. I know I’m sounding a bit too optimistic but that’s the Chef effect right there. I don’t know if it’s just me but underneath all the cooking and dreams there was a consistent anti-capitalism vibe. Something we rarely see in mainstream Hollywood productions. And I’m not talking about that “follow your dreams/money isn’t everything” sentiment. Then again, I could be reading too much into certain elements of the movie so I better stop here.

Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Chef, do check out Burnt starring Bradley Cooper. That’s a more serious movie, practically a drama about a troubled chef trying to get back on the right path. Speaking of troubled chefs, Boiling Point is basically the opposite of Chef. Starring marvelous Stephen Graham, it’s an intense thriller following a crew of a restaurant during one of their busiest nights.

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer:  Jon Favreau

Cast: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Oliver Platt, Sofía Vergara

Fun Facts: Oliver Platt plays an influential food critic in this movie while in real life, his brother Adam is a highly esteemed restaurant critic.


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