A nice change of pace, “Chef” comes out of left field and is able to captivate audiences by giving us something so simple in an era of high budgets and intense special effects. The film was directed, written, and stars non other than Jon Favreau who has directed such amazing films as “Swingers” and “Elf.” But what is great to see is that even with all his success of “Iron Man” and its sequels, Favreau does not have to stay in the budget-busting world some might think he has become accustomed to. Chef is simple and fun with a whole lot of heart mixed in.
For those who consider themselves something of a foodie or loves the passion and beauty of cooking, this is a movie for you. A great perspective comes through in this film that shows fantastic cooking done with dancing and grace, which seems to be the opposite of the military like personae that television has engraved into the minds of restaurant goers. Audiences can see a love of life through these edible works of art and the ever-present search of what keeps the soul moving.
What seemed to start as a jumbled assortment of themes and plots, “Chef” ends up having a simple and elegant plot of them all, the pursuit of ones happiness. There is also a nice look into the father and son relationship but not the normal everyday father trying to connect with his son. Actually it is the complete opposite. This fresh film idea just shows that Favreau doesn’t want to just stick with what he knows and has seen before. Instead in his writing he wants to branch out and explore relationships between the different groups of people in out world. In “Swingers” it was the relationships between friends and in “Couples Retreat” is was the relationship between different couples. In “Chef,” Favreau wants to see the son build a relationship with not only his father but his passion as well.
This was a true hidden gem amongst the high financed action films that has come out this year. Chef gives hope to all that wonderful writing doesn’t need to be action packed and full of sex, but simple and well-formed characters are enough to grab the audiences’ attention. Favreau has proven once again that he is a man of many talents and leaves his viewers waiting by their computers to see what he will do next.