Chef
Acting
Directing
Cinematography
Script
Timeless
3.1Overall Score

One of my potential 2014 highlights was on the board entertainment on my flight to L.A., so it was no-brainer to try out the what-seemed to be a delicious course from what the promising trailer. So what do I think after 1 hour 55 min of watching food porn on a plane? I feel like having been teased by the mentioned app without going too fancy followed by an entree which kind of tasted like a dish which was bearing a lot of promise and had lots of great ingredients but was cooked a little too short and/or was under-seasoned…and well the dessert in terms of the conclusion was just like american cheese cake (way too sweet and you kind of have to stop eating after the first bite).

That was lots of food analogies in one paragraph but let me cut it down for you…Like many people out there I am a total foodie and like many other people out there I spent the majority of my school and college years working in a restaurant, so the theme of a movie about a chef trying to do his own thing and thereby fulfilling his dreams appears like a pretty appealing concept. And coming from Jon Favreau along with acting capacities such as Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffmann and Sofía Vergara – just to actually name a few – this promised to be a delicious meal (the ones you can’t make at home yourself). And ultimately it was a nice feel-good movie but which had its good parts but just had some problems to be really playing in the A-League…But before heading to the bad, let’s focus on the goods first: the cast is generally very likeable, the cinematography (and by that I mean the effective use and sometimes overuse of food pornograhy) was pretty well done along with sprinkling in the use of social media tools and “new trends” like food trucks. And compared to other movies, the duration was just about right enough that I would not be checking my clock constantly. Thus I was ultimately entertained.

courtesy of http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/

Courtesy of http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/

However, it would be an unfair service to good and great movies to put this movie in the same category. It has many problems which I believe are mainly script related and maybe a little bit of Jon Favreau thinking of himself to be more awesome (looking) than he actually is. From what it appears this was a little pet project of Jon Favreau. He gathered an amazing crew of actors and shot this is a medium-budget semi-independent movie where everyone could just have fun. My problem with the script was just that it really does not go deep enough at all. The whole film is just completely smooth…there are almost no problems and if any appear they just get solved in a heartbeat and with seemingly no big issues – just like in real life. The other part is the human relationship factor depicted in this movie; while it goes for father-son-getting-to-know-and-appreciate each other, it commences it by showing what kind of a terrible dad Jon Favreau is in the beginning and how he (of course) ultimately turns around. But basically for the first half of the movie where he is just a terrible parent, his shortcomings kind of stay without any “penalty”. Despite continuously rejecting his (really nice) son, he keeps on getting away with. And then once they become closer to each other, they have their heart-2-heart father-and-son talks with some of them just being terribly cliché and poorly scripted. So it neither really “touches” nor does it make a good point (the clean-the-truck-shoutout or don’t-sell-the-burned-sandwhich were just extremely terrible). The other kind of annoying part (but maybe there is just jealousy that I am not a Hollywood hotshot who can just write and shoot what he wants) is that a kind-of-overweight-average-looking Jon Favreau has the hottest ex-wife ever – granted that she is also married to Al Bundy in Modern Family – so maybe I am just completely off-base. And while he kind of still is in love with her, he has the luxury of having Scarlett Johannson as his girlfriend … I mean come on, Jon Favreau, yes you are stud but don’t you think that you are playing out of your league here?

Overall – as stated above – I believe that this was a movie which was shot rather quick without putting a lot of deep thoughts into the script. I assume he just wanted to have fun shooting a movie about restaurants, twitter, dreams and the “meaning of life”. The crew in this movie is generally nice and likeable, the soundtrack is fantastic and it is well put together. But all together it just lacks the depth it sometimes tries to have and thus does not live up to the expectation of being a truly good movie.

But if you have nothing better to watch, it is probably worth your time … but don’t watch it hungry or during a 12 hour flight with dinner 4 hours away, it will be a very long wait with a disappointment on your tray.

The Good

  • Nice cast of awesome actors with pretty decent chemistry
  • Great soundtrack with beautiful food shots
  • Lets you off with a good feeling

 

The Bad

  • Sometimes very poorly scripted
  • A little too smooth overall
  • Jon Favreau dating both Scralett Johannson and Sofia Vergara in one movie is just too much
Info
chef_xlg

Courtesy of http://impawards.com

  • Running time: 115 min
  • Genre: Feel-Good, Comedy
  • Year: 2014

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