BY JENNA SIMPSON
Chef is a fun and very entertaining film about taking a chance on doing something totally outside one’s comfort zone. (And having it pay off, of course!)
Writer, director, and star Jon Favreau is understandably right at home in this film. His character,Carl, is going through something of a slump, turning out food that is popular, but not special at a downtown L.A. restaurant. He’s lost his gorgeous wife, has a strained relationship with his son, and is cowed by his boss. His staff love him, but his work has no guts or pizzazz. Frankly, the guy seems depressed. He loses it and gets fired, and then is saved by an unlikely combination of supportive ex-wife, feisty sous chef, precocious tween son, and abandoned food truck. Everything works out in the end–and I mean everything.
It certainly helps that Favreau is likeable both to movie goers and celebrities–this film is chock full of famous faces, from John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr. and “It Girl” Scarlett Johansson to Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt and Sofia Vergara. It also doesn’t hurt that the film also features a super cute kid, Emjay Anthony, who plays Carl’s son, Percy. The cast really shines and complements both each other and the story quite well.
And the food! Food is like its own character in this film. It had my mouth watering and me wishing I could get my hands on some of the recipes that were featured throughout!
All said, Chef is a nice little feel good summer film, even if the ending is a bit pat and overdone (pardon the food pun!). I’m sure you’ll probably enjoy it, there’s not much here not to like.
Toronto filles can check out Chef at the Open Roof Festival Thursday, August 21. More details here.