You do not have to love food to adore Jon Favreau's newest film Chef. While the movie is filled with mouth-watering meals from beginning to end, Favreau's newest masterpiece is about so much more than just the morsels seen on the screen. Everything about Chef is well done. It has a fantastic script, an excellent cast, some great direction, and music that will pulsate through your body long after the end credits roll.
Chef is the story of Carl Casper, a restaurant cook with so much passion for his work that he is failing in other areas of his life. He has a fantastic son that he pays little attention to and a boss that keeps him from exploring his creative talents. Luckily for him, Casper is truly affected by a bad review and it turns his life upside down. The script for this movie has just the right amount of everything. While you root for the chef to achieve his dreams, you also sort of hate him for not seeing his son for the awesome kid that he is. However the writing makes it hard to not love every character, even the villainous ones. The most important and best part of the script, however, is the message it ultimately delivers.
Adoring every character may have something to do with the amazing casting choices. There are a lot of important, yet small, parts played by big time actors like Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey Jr. You cannot help but get excited when they pop onto the screen. In fact, it is like this with all of the characters. John Leguizamo steals almost every scene that he is in, especially in the second half of the film.
Of course, the food in the film makes you salivate. Do not arrive on an empty stomach because you will definitely get hungry, perhaps for a Cuban sandwich that you have no means to get, during the duration of the movie. The wonderful Latin music and Gary Clark Jr.'s breathtaking voice will help distract you though. If you are not listening to your stomach growl, it will be because you are focused on trying to not dance in your seat.
Chef has all the ingredients that make a great film. This is one of the best films you will see this year, and may be Jon Favreau's best work yet.