The Film Fatales serve up a review that's sure to cleanse your palate.
Chef. 2014. R. 114 minutes. Starring Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Sofia Vegara, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Emjay Anthony. Written and Directed by Jon Favreau.
A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family. (IMDb)
Nicole: Every now and then a movie comes along that renews your faith in the art of storytelling. Chef is one such movie. I can't wait to express my enthusiasm for this movie. I gotta get it said right now: I loved every second of this wonderful film. From the originality of the story, to the stellar art direction, to the ingenious casting, to the toe-tapping, hip-swaying soundtrack--Chef adds up to one satisfyingly delectable watch.
elizabeth: Look at this: Every time you start a review, you read my mind about what I am going to say. Stop it! The day after we saw Chef, I posted that this movie will make you happy, hungry and you will move your moneymaker. Someone sent me a note asking if a moneymaker meant one’s butt. Dear Nervous Smile, yes it does. And this is from someone who just got a new right hip. I couldn’t sit still. It took my mind off the hunger pangs. If this movie does not get some Oscar nominations, I will sell off my red carpet gowns. Once I buy them.
Nicole: I'm sure the personal stylists at Givenchy were really looking forward to that commission, Cassidy. How will they ever recover the loss? So, Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) is stuck in a culinary rut, no thanks to his tyrannical, afraid-of-taking-risks boss Riva (Hoffman). A supremely terrible review of the restaurant's menu and Carl's skills sends him into a downward spiral that forces him to reinvent himself by sacrificing his pride. Along the way, Carl not only gets his mojo back in the kitchen, he learns the true meaning of loyalty, family and friendship.
elizabeth: It was almost like watching a man make love (I did that a lot; the restraining orders prove my point) when Carl gets back to what really matters in life. Watching him prepare food made my knees weak. And for the record, I tend to favor heroin-addicted looking men, but the joy and delight you see painted on Favreau’s face made him quite…dare I say…incredibly sexy. I think that is the right word for this movie – it was sexy from the great dialogue, to the food and let us not forget the music, which they were smart enough to make into a soundtrack. Hello, Amazon!
Nicole: Seriously downloading that soundtrack! This movie was a feast for the eyes and ears. It was shot with the intent of making food and music central characters. Each, in their way, express the soul of this movie...how both food and music can bring people together...how much tradition and roots make life meaningful.
elizabeth: Did you play a Sunday school teacher in a former life? I feel like putting on sensible shoes.
Nicole: Don't make me threaten you with a ruler. Oh, and what a cast, by the way. You can really tell how much Favreau enjoyed this role. His lows are our lows. His highs are our highs. And he surrounded himself with people who complemented his love of the material. Leguizamo as Martin and Cannavale as Tony are terrific at providing comic relief in an already light-hearted movie. And, Favreau's Marvel-franchise buddies Downey Jr. and Johansson lend well to the cast.
elizabeth: Kudos to Sofia Vegara and Scarlett Johansson; they added had just the right amount of cool and H-O-T! But, you had to bring up Marvel didn’t you? You were doing so well until now. Do tell: I bet you never left one of those movies wanting to dance. I will say this about you: I have never seen anyone bring in as much chocolate as you do to a movie. I am not surprised they don’t make you check in your luggage. And for the record, I don’t like being used as a human shield.
Nicole: What can I say? I like to be prepared. Except this time, I really would have rather had one of El Jefe's Cuban Sandwiches...
The Film Fatales give Chef