“Chef” is a feel-good story about a man who has to lose everything to live his life the way that he wants. The film certainly does not shy away from strong language but it doesn’t seem to interfere with the uplifting story. I typically see Jon Favreau in small supporting roles but he handles this lead role (and writing… and directing…) with grace and finesse. Apparently Favreau has a lot of Hollywood connections, casting all of the film’s small roles with huge stars like Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey, Jr., and Oliver Platt. John Leguizamo makes a fantastic sidekick and Sofía Vergara really lights up the screen as this story takes advantage of the foodie craze and popularity of food trucks in America today. The cooking has the legitimacy and interest of a great Food Network show and is perfectly paired with an underdog story. Favrea even uses multiple cities as well as a contrast between gourmet and street food to avoid the monotony of cooking one style of food over and over again. The use of social media in the story is very unique as it creates a false reality that will have you searching for the location of “El Jefe” by the end of the film. There isn’t any major conflict or twist that leaves us feeling sad in the middle of the story because, let’s face it, this film is all about the food. The plot is entirely unique and the characters are dynamic, which keeps us guessing from start to finish. Add in a heartwarming father-son story and what's not to love? Whether you are a foodie or not, “Chef” is a simple story whose cheesy ending is welcome as your tummy rumbles from the delicious food onscreen.
[Pictured: Who knew that Jon Favreau could carry a movie so effortlessly?]