By James Davidson
“Chef” is a dramatic comedy film starring Jon Favreau that is available on the Netflix streaming service. It debuted on May 30th 2014. “Chef” follows the story of Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) who is going through a rough devorce from his wife Inez (Sofia Vergara). After starting a Twitter war with a prominent food blogger who gave him a bad review, Carl quits his job as a head chef at a fancy restaurant in Los Angeles. At the behest of his ex-wife, Carl buys a food truck in Miami to renew his love for cooking and food. Carl takes the truck on a cross country tour with his friend Martin (John Leguizamo) and his son Percy (Emjay Anthony). Carl not only rediscovers his passion for cooking, but also renews his relationship with his son and other important people in his life.
I found this film after browsing through Netflix one day looking for something interesting to watch. It caught my attention because it had a few big name actors in it besides Favreau and Vergara, including Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, and Dustin Hoffman. It also looked like an interesting story and was a subject, cooking, that I find very interesting. This movie didn’t disappoint, it delivers a heartwarming story with some incredible acting and powerful writing.
The story is uplifting and well written. It is accentuated by some incredible acting by Favtreau. The way that the acting and writing work together to show Carl feeling uninspired at his job at the restaurant and the joy that he finds in cooking in his food truck is incredible. Favreau was able to capture the character of Carl perfectly and it shows up on the screen. It is obvious that as soon as Carl is feeling stifled at his head chef job and as soon as he begins cooking outside of the restaurant he instantly lights up.
I found the transformation of Carl believable and inspirational. Even the way his attitude towards his son and ex-wife change as he begins to love his job again. I was particularly intrigued by the relationship between Carl and his son, Percy. At the beginning of the film, Carl and Percy spend time together, usually at the movies or theme parks. Occasionally Carl will take his son shopping for ingredients for work with him. As Carl transforms during the course of the movie, so does his relationship with Percy, as Carl finds his passion for cooking again, he begins to instill that passion into Percy and it was a joy to watch. Watching the father and son grow closer together on their cross country journey was the highlight of the film.
This movie is rated R for language, including some suggestive references. There is quite a bit of harsh language in this film, but not much else that is offensive. If you don’t mind a bit of language, this is a great movie for families with teenage children to watch together.
“Chef” is a heartwarming drama with just the right amount of comedy thrown in. Jon Favreau delivers a great performance as both the star actor and writer. The chemistry between the actors is fantastic and makes this movie an underrated gem on Netflix. I think this is one of the few must watch films on Netflix and think it would be a great family film or date night movie, if you don’t mind some harsh language. It earns 4.5 out of 5 stars.