Film review: Chef

GRAEME TUCKETT
Last updated 05:00 10/05/2014
chef movie

A LOT TO LIKE: Chef plays into some older cliches, but still delivers a warm, likable movie.

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CHEF (M)

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.

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- The Dominion Post

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