If you’ve considered seeing Chef, settle in for the kind of movie we don’t see often enough anymore: a movie steeped in joy, with a cast that loves the project, and a heartwarming story.
“Chef is what happens when a bunch of wealthy celebrities decide to have some fun.”
This was the first comment I wrote as I watched Chef from the comfort of my couch a few days ago. It had been on my radar for several months, ever since I heard that Robert Downey Jr. was involved in another project that Jon Favreau was directing and starring in. You will remember that I’m a pretty big fan of the work that Jon and Robert have done in the past, so even though we’re stepping out of the cookie-cutter comic book genre, I’m always pleased to see smart, film-intelligent people take their own money and make something authentic. Lately, that hasn’t happened much in Hollywood, and it’s hard for great actors to find work. I’m going to put my money and my time behind any project that does a halfway decent job, and thankfully, I find Chef to do a far better than ‘halfway decent job.’
The story is predictable, yet charming: a talented man finds himself unappreciated at work, struggling to be a good father, and suddenly, unemployed. This man goes on a hero journey to become good at his work and with his child, and in the end, well, it gets Hollywood. You know how it goes. What is more telling for Chef is how Favreau handles the power of social media in brand management, and how even the ‘smallest’ person can make a big difference in today’s connected society. While I couldn’t get enough of the beautiful food they were cooking, my Community Manager persona was just as pleased that this movie serves as an analysis and (in some ways) critique of the world we live in. All while keeping the audience engaged—each character is believable, and I can’t say that any one character steals the scene, since they all do in different moments.
I’d recommend Chef to anyone like me: anyone who loves or uses social media. Anyone who loves good food, particularly food trucks. Anyone who loves Robert Downey Jr. Anyone who loves good, original screenplays. Anyone who loves good movies.
Final verdict: Must see. Secondary verdict: Why were they SHOOTING Don Julio?? Don’t they know anything?
In many years...
Brief Reviews: Bridge of Spies
Brief Reviews: The Big Short
Brief Reviews: The Revenant
Learning how to breathe via Carkeek Park.
Brief Reviews: Entourage
Brief Reviews: The Theory of Everything
Brief Reviews: The Judge