Arrival [DVD]

Favreau Does Fish n Chips

Jon Favreau in Chef (2014)

10 years earlier Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) was winning praise for his cooking, but now the same people who praised him are ridiculing him for cooking the same passionless food despite it being restaurant owner, Riva (Dustin Hoffman), who is killing his creative talents. When Carl not only gets a bad review from top critic Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) but videos of him exploding at the critic go viral it leaves him without a job and relying on his ex's ex husband to get him started again. That start involves an old food truck where along with his sous chef Martin (John Leguizamo) and young son Percy (Emjay Anthony) set out on a road trip back from Miami bringing a taste of Miami back with them to California.

You could cook the nicest piece of fish in the most amazing tempura batter accompanied by some double fried in duck fat fries and you would still have fish n chips. And that is what "Chef" is, beneath the big names in minor roles and the generally decent script and performances it is still fish n chips. Okay I should explain because if you trim down "Chef" to the basics this is another one of those movies where someone who has committed career suicide ends up on a humbling journey of rediscovery where they get back in touch with who they were, what they loved and who they loved. And there are a lot of movies which do the same which is why I mention fish n chips as the underlying storyline is routine.

Oliver Platt in Chef (2014)

But I like fish n chips and I like the underlying storyline to "Chef" as there is always some thing reaffirming when you have a story about someone rediscovering who they were especially when it is done with passion and panache. As such Jon Favreau throws himself in to "Chef" delivering an enjoyable performance, script and also nice, uncomplicated direction. But Favreau brings with him those stars in minor roles which dress up this familiar storyline so you have the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Dustin Hoffman in minor but enjoyably playful roles.

What this all boils down to is that whilst I could go on about various scenes in "Chef" such as those of Favreau showing his cooking skills or the scenes of comedy including those which include corn starch there is no point as "Chef" is a simple movie done with energy and passion, making something which is familiar enjoyable. In fact so enjoyable that this is one of those movies you will want to watch again

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