Directed by Jon Favreau
Reviewed by Graeme Tuckett
Yes it's self-indulgent, and yes it entirely buys into that Hollywood cliche about starting your own business and "following your dream" as a guaranteed path to happiness and fulfillment (drop by my place when the GST return is due, and I'll tell you a different story) but Chef is also a hugely likeable and engaging wee movie.
Jon Favreau, writing, directing, and starring, plays Carl. He's a top-flight chef at a fashionable restaurant. But a falling out with owner Dustin Hoffman, and a Youtube'd meltdown at critic Oliver Platt see Carl out on his ear.
By a forgivable series of contrivances featuring Carl's ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and their 11-year-old son, Carl takes on an old food-truck, and Chef transforms into a gentle road movie.
There's a lot to like here. Favreau and his cast generate some palpable chemistry, swap fine lines, and are clearly enjoying the chance to tell a small story, and tell it well.
Chef won't set the world on fire, but it will put a smile on your face, and a pleasurable hunger in your belly. Recommended.
- The Dominion Post