Jon Favreau, actor, director and writer of Chef, has been pretty mediocre in his acting abilities since Swingers, but fortunately he’s a pretty good director and not a bad writer. It’s also nice since he’s been around for a while he has very good actor connections and can enlist heavy hitter’s like Robert Downey Jr., Vince Vauhan and Dustin Hoffman.
The Premise: The story is about Carl Casper, Jon Favreau a big time chef, and really wants to show off his cooking prowess. He works for a high-end restaurant and a cranky critic named Ramsey Michel, Oliver Platt is coming through to make or break his career. As he prepares to become larger than life, the restaurant owner, Riva, Dustin Hoffman stifles his greatness by insisting that he only present what’s on the menu. This provokes Carl and he ends up making some bad decisions based on this unexpected declaration by his boss.
The funny part of this movie, is the demographic it hits, it’s clever how Jon’s character is a product of early Generation X, and completely inept at understanding social media, or at least Twitter and YouTube. And misses the pitfalls and social cues of some of his public actions. Which end up embarrassing Carl as he loses his job, and all but loses his reputation as a chef. And even funnier is Carl’s son Percy, Emjay Anthony, who is 10, saves his father’s career and reputation by using the same media that tried to destroy it. It’s a very interesting and timely story concept, because a lot of us early Gen Xer’s don’t understand the repercussions of Twitter or YouTube. Also it was smart how Jon used old school music from the 80’s for the soundtrack, to remind us that it was about his generation, that is becoming a fossil.
The Sum Up: Very well acted by the cast, specifically Jon, because I believed he was a chef. The cast was exceptional, with John Leguizamo, RDJ, Sophia Vegera, Bobby Cannavale, Oliver Platt, and Scarlett Johansson. It was nice seeing that most of these people were either Gen Xer’s or Baby Boomers, and gave the story texture and relevance. Also using a lot of Hispanics made it interesting and real, since some of his creations are authentic Cuban dishes as part of his menu. Although, John Leguizamo and Sophia Vegera are not Cuban but Columbian. Non the less, refreshing that Jon used ethnic Spanish-speaking people, which made me smile. This movie gets a B+, Note Worthy ~ for see it in theaters or on dvd, but see it for all the above mentioned reasons. It also gets a ***Safety Alert*** for language, and dubious relationship references. This movie is rated R. ~ Musings&Rants