Movie Review: Chef by Jason Burleson


There aren’t too many films written about cooks.  In fact, the only one I can really think of is Ratatouille and that film has very little in common with Jon Favreau’s new film ChefChef is an interesting, fun, and spitfire of a film about a once trend setting chef who quits his job at a successful restaurant to get back to his roots. I know what you’re thinking.  How exciting could that actually be?  I thought the same and was not disappointed.

Written, directed, and starring Jon Favreau, Chef circles around Jon Favreau’s character Carl Casper.  Challenged with dealing with the fact he’s no longer a trend setter, he has to keep his boss happy.  While his spark and passion for food has obviously not diminished, he struggles with expressing his creative juices and just being a chef.  Casper wants everyone to love food the way he does and sets out on a soul searching mission to find what is really important to him.

While this film is entertaining, a soul searching mission about cooking just couldn’t keep me from fidgeting in my seat while watching this film.  However, Favreau does an excellent job of displaying on screen the passion that many chefs have.  Working in a kitchen is not easy and is evidently a labor of love that goes routinely without thanks like many other jobs.  I don’t think that’s what this movie is about though.  Favreau makes it obvious. It’s about finding what you love.   If it’s working with your hands, do it until they bleed.  Not for credit but because you love what you’re doing and you want to share it with others.  That passion is seen many times in this film and it’s evident in the passion he has for making movies.  He loves to tell a story, and he obviously did his research in making this film.

ChefThis film also stars a stout headlining cast.  Along with Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Sophia Vergara, and John Leguizamo also take on the role of telling a great story.  Most are small roles but all are excellent. It makes me think they were chosen either because they wanted to support Favreau or because Favreau needed big names in a movie about cooking.  I’m going to go with the first one this time.  I will see any film with Scarlett and RDJ is your typical RDJ. Awesome.

Some parts of the film are tremendously founded in current pop culture which I thought unique.  I’ve never seen a film involve something like Twitter in such a huge role of the film.  Using social media is an interesting method of plot development that I found very unique and added a fun bit of variety when some parts of the film tended to droll on.  I’ve always been a fan of Favreau’s ability to use different techniques and break the mold when it came to filmmaking and he continues in this film not only with Twitter but with other foundations that have found their ways into our current lifestyles like food trucks.

If I can give you any suggestion before seeing Chef, please go eat before because you will end up hungry and popcorn just isn’t going to do it.  If you’re looking for a fun date movie or just interested in a good story ,go see this film.   We won’t see many films this year told with the same grace and passionate ability like Jon Favreau’s.

I give Chef 3 out of 5.

by Jason Burleson

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