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THE CRITIC: Jon Favreau Serves Up An Indie Revival In “Chef”

by Erin Darling 7 May 2014 No Comment E-mail Erin Darling

“Chef” 2014

Director: Jon Favreau

Starring: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara

Rating: R

TRT: 115 mins


Calling all foodies and film fans – if you’re craving an introspective story about family, fear, and finding the strength to follow a dream, Jon Favreau serves it up in “Chef.”

Though he’s most recently known for his work helming big budget blockbusters like “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2″ Favreau steps outside the expected with “Chef” – a lighthearted comedy about a man’s personal journey to reignite a passion, and reconnect with his son.

“Chef” follows the story of Carl Casper (Favreau), who decides to start a food truck business after losing his job at a high profile restaurant. The journey takes Casper across the country, bringing new experiences, challenges, and the opportunity to spend some overdue time with his son, played by Emjay Anthony. While the progression of the father-son relationship is both heart-felt and entertaining most of the time, it deflates during the few moments where Favreau fails to convey emotional specificity. Instead, the film’s strong suit is found in the chemistry between Favreau and friends John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, and feisty food critic arch-nemeses played by Oliver Platt. The comedy continues down to the star-studded cameos, both Russell Peters and Amy Sedaris brought their chops to the table for short scenes that are likely to be fan-favorites.

Comedy aside, the film’s undeniable charm lies in the main character’s narrative, that in seems to parallel Favreau’s life, resulting in a rewarding movie-going experience that feels more personal than the blockbuster behemoths it’s competing against this summer  “Chef” feels like a flavorful return to his days as an indie darling and successfully straddles the line between star-studded summer flick and low budget indie film. resulting in a relatable, feel-good movie that will leave you asking for seconds.

“Chef” opens in theatres May 9th, 2014.



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