Cast includes: Jon Favreau (The Wolf of Wall Street), John Leguizamo (The Lincoln Lawyer), Bobby Cannavale (Win Win), Emjay Anthony (It’s Complicated), Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation), Sofía Vergara (Fading Gigolo), Oliver Platt (Frost/Nixon), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Jose C. Hernandez
Writer/Director: Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Made)
Genre: Comedy | Food | Travel
As the quirky beat of “Brother John Is Gone” by the Wild Magnolias heats up, so does the crushing, slicing and dicing in Chef Carl Casper’s kitchen. “Chef Dig-Dog, up all night cooking!” Food critic Ramsey Michel is coming tonight and Chef Casper’s pulling out the stops. That’s why he’s late picking up his son Percy from school. “I’m used to it,” says Percy. Ouch! On a whirlwind dash through the green market, Carl and Percy exchange their usual father-son dialog. Kettle corn? No way. Do you know what’s in that stuff? “Mom’s worried about you… wants you to think about the food truck idea.” No way. On the topic of authentic food… Carl promises to take Percy to New Orleans sometime to experience the food… “whole different world” from Venice California. Finally, the two of them are munching on kettle corn as they head back to the car.
Back at the restaurant, owner Revi wants a word with Chef Casper. “I don’t need guidance. I need space,” Chef tells Revi. “If you had tickets to a Stone’s concert and they didn’t play ‘Satisfaction,’ how would you feel? (Maybe he has a point.) Go with the favorites.” Chef does and it’s a disaster. The review is bad enough, but… “Fuck Twitter.” “Why should I fuck Twitter?” says Carl. OMG… Carl doesn’t know about Twitter! Martin and Tony don’t want to explain about reviews going viral on Twitter. But that’s the advantage of having a 12-year-old son… Percy can explain all about Twitter and even help Carl set up his own Twitter account. The only problem is that Carl missed the part about tweets being public. So when Carl replies to Ramsey saying, “You wouldn’t know a good meal if it sat on your face,” he gets 1,653 followers by the next morning. One thing leads to another, and Chef Casper finds it’s awfully hot in the kitchen… “Go be an artist on your own time!” says Revi.
Chef will probably be the most delightful feel-good movie of the 2014 summer season. It’s quirky and delicious with a sensational soundtrack and a whole basket full of crazy, charming characters. Jon Favreau is both the main character and the writer/director, so perhaps that explains why the movie feels so fresh and organic. When Chef’s career takes a flying leap off a cliff, he reluctantly agrees to come with his ex-wife and Percy to Miami… and then agrees to consider that crazy food truck idea with her other ex-husband Marvin. (You have to be prepared to go along with some of the crazy plot twists.) Before long, the food truck becomes the vehicle for a gastronomic tour of the southern US… as Chef Casper, Marvin and Percy cook and sample their way back to California. I’ve already mentioned the soundtrack, but it’s worth mentioning again… nothing goes better with ethnic foods than ethnic music. Chef Casper and son Percy are the main ingredients in this delicious mélange, but the supporting cast adds a lot of laughs and great flavor. Pass the kettle corn… no, better make that beignets from the French Quarter.
4 popped kernels
A career snafu gives workaholic Chef Casper a chance to become a better dad
Rated: R (Language)
Audience: Young Adults
Gender Style: Bold
Distribution: Mainstream Wide Release
Tempo: Zips Right Along Cruises
Visual Style: Nicely Varnished Realism | Gorilla Video
Nutshell: Finding one’s passion