Chef – *(*)

Posted: March 1, 2015 in 2014, Dramedy, Road Trip, USA, X1/2

Chef is a light comedy by Jon Favreau, known as the director of the successful Iron Man series. It feels like a low budget indie flic, made by a graduating student from a movie making masterclass. But it has some big names in the cast: Robert Downey Jr and Scarlet Johansson. They only play minor parts, but still. They draw the attention and an audience that normally would never bother watching a movie like this.

The main story is about a chef of a popular restaurant who’s confined to making the same menu over and over again. When a notorious food critic gives him bad press, he feels hurt and decides to leave the restaurant in search of new creativity. He leaves LA for Miami, opens up a food truck and drives across the US in the company of a good friend and his son, with whom he has a troubled relationship.

It’s interesting material for a great movie about father/dad issues, the internal struggle to find the balance between creativity and money making and great shots of food making. However, somehow it fails to deliver. The father/dad issue isn’t all that dramatic; the internal struggle is pretty superficial and the shots of food do not make you hungry at all.

 Chef is the kind of movie that you’ve already forgotten about twenty minutes after having finished it. There isn’t anything remarkable about it at all. It does have its merits though as a document about the importance of social media anno 2014. The dispute with the food critic goes viral and the young kid uses Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Vine to promote his father’s food truck. Now how will that look when you re-watch it in 2034?

Jon Favreau probably hates movie critics and just gets back at them by making a movie about food critics.That’s okay. And he has a point. Why should a critic slam a product in which a lot of love and effort was put? But then again, if it’s unremarkable it’s unremarkable.

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