Chef follows the story of dedicated chef, Carl (Jon Favreau). After getting a negative review from one of the most famous food critics at the moment, Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) Carl decides to spend some more time with his son, who is living with Carl's ex-wife, Inez (Sofia Vergara). She convinces him to purchase a food truck so he can reclaim his famous creativity as well as untangling his family problems.
Chef was a fun, feel-good movie. I've always loved films that are purely fun and are just a blast to watch and fortunately enough, Chef is that type of movie. Despite having many flaws which I will detail about, the film maintains its energetic and frequently casual vibe for the majority of the film. It's nothing too special and the themes have been done before, but what this film does, it does well. It really is a wonderful way to knock off two hours of your time.
The screenplay for the film is a blast! The dialogue is fast and witty, but it also blends in a handful of dramatic moments and of course the mandatory penis jokes because no comedy can be a comedy unless there is at least one penis joke. Were they funny though? Yeah, the film as a whole was pretty funny. That's not to say that around a third of the jokes did fall flat and didn't even get a chuckle from me.
The film shows the power of social media in an effective way. The plot of the film is centred around how Carl signed up for Twitter and from there on out the whole film begins to take shape. Throughout the 'adventures' in the food truck social networks were being used frequently. The film was attempting to show us how much advertising on social networks can effect a business and this topic surprisingly doesn't pop up frequently in films so it was an added bonus.
The cast of the film all give off decent performances. The film features a whopping cast including Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr. and Sofia Vergara. There were only two actors in the cast that I was genially skeptical about: Sofia Vergara and John Leguizamo. Leguizamo has done brilliant movies in the past, but with those brilliant movies he also has a pile of rubbish movies, but Chef manages not to be one of them. He was fine in the movie and added a new, energetic vibe to the whole film. Sofia Vergara has done a majority of terrible movies, but on television she's a natural comedian. In Chef she too is fine although I'm thankful there's not an awful lot of screen time with her cliched and nearly flawless character who doesn't have any development in the least bit.
Speaking of her character development, there is hardly any in the entire movie. Chef knows the type of film that it wants to be and it does it well, as I've previously stated, but it also forgets some basic film necessities such as character development. They do well at letting us care for these characters, but hardly any of them change throughout the runtime of the film. There are two characters, I will not spoil who, that change ever so slightly, but they don't change much.
Chef ends very abruptly and failed at tying together a lot of loose ends. My topic sentence is kind of misleading. What I'm trying to say is that the film's final few minutes are starting to tie everything together, but in doing so it ends with an unclear status of where everyone is at. I'm still not entirely sure what happened to some of the characters although for most of them we get a fairly good idea, it just wasn't clear enough. It feels like the film was still going to go on and then it just ends.
To sum up, Chef is a fun, feel-good movie with a blast of a screenplay, decent performances and satisfying humour although there's little character development, the film's themes have been done many times before and it ends abruptly.