Big Screen :: Chef
May 13th 2014
In the new movie Chef, middle-aged and overweight writer-director Jon Favreau casts himself in the lead role: a middle-aged and overweight chef who is currently screwing Scarlett Johanssen and divorced from Sophia Vergara (aka that lady from Modern Family who looks like she is a robot designed by a horny 14 year old boy).
Jon Favreau is 48, Scarlet Johanssen is 29.
My buddy afterwards decided this would be a bit like designing a movie around a love triangle between Ryan Gosling, Robert Pattinson and Dawn French.
Not since poor Hayley Atwell got smothered by Ray Winstone and his giant sweat-stained underpants in The Sweeney have I been so taken out from a movie by the sheer implausibility of the on screen coupling. It’s a ridiculous double standard: in The Sweeney‘s case we are just supposed to buy it without comment, however if the sexes were reversed, the whole movie would be a joke. Favreau should have known better.
The movie is about a Chef melting down over a bad review, and rediscovering his love of food and family by starting up a food truck. There was a film called The Five Year Engagement that was also about this exact same thing, but whatever.
I watched this in a small theatre full of movie critics and there is a big scene where Favreau just unleashes fury on critics in general, calling us all hate-filled negative dickheads (paraphrase). He is right of course, but still it was a bit awkward.
It was almost as uncomfortable as the time I spent four hours in the middle of the day in a small crowded theatre with broken air-conditioning sitting right next to Margaret Pomerantz to watch Nymphomaniac.
(Maybe he has a point though, given I spent the first half of this review ranting about how unattractive he is…)
This is a cheesy movie with a ludicrous ending. Big chunks of it don’t work at all, particularly the relationship between Favreau and his son, mostly due to the poor kid Emjay Anthony (this is actually how you spell his name) not really being up to the job and certainly not being helped by some hopeless dialogue. It is light and breezy, though, and hard to really dislike. The kind of movie you might watch on a plane and think it was okay enough, then forget that you have seen it when someone brings it up.
It will make you hungry, though. The movie takes a road trip from Miami, through New Orleans and Austin and the brisket, Po Boys and Cuban Sandwiches look amazing.
Favreau started off making smaller films and acting before directing giant stuff like the first two Iron Men and Cowboys and Aliens (the reaction to which I suspect may have inspired his rant about critics in this movie). You can see a lot of parallels between his career and his character’s journey in this film. You would have to watch it first though, which I don’t really recommend. It isn’t very good.