“Chef” at Tribeca Film Festival 2014
Jon Favreau has written, directed and starred in a nice, but unchallenging story with likeable characters that, unfortunately lacks the one crucial element that all films need, conflict.
To be fair, “Chef” does have a promising start. Favreau plays Carl Casper, an idealistic chef who strikes out on his own to make the kind of food that he likes, as opposed to the tiresome menu that restaurant owner, and unfeeling boss, Dustin Hoffman wants him to make. Carl’s actions follow a quite funny online twitter feud with acerbic food critic Ramsey Michel, played by Oliver Platt. This makes for great conflict and I was hoping the film would have more with this. Twitter does play a prominent role in “Chef” as the internet unsavvy Carl learns the “ins” and “outs” of Twitter via his pre-adolscent son, Percy (nicely played by Emjay Anthony).
The bulk of “Chef” though concerns a long cross country trip with Carl, Percy and loyal co-chef buddy, Martin, played by John Leguizamo, driving a taco truck and “wowing” food oficionados along the way. Leguizamo, not exactly stretching here, plays, well, John Leguizamo, the funny, wise-cracking, “knows how to get the job done,” side kick, something which he does well.
“Chef” does have a game, energetic cast that also includes Sofia Vergara, Bobby Cannavale, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey, Jr.
As fellow festival goers became impatient with the film’s nearly two hour running length and started to leave, I stuck it out, hoping that a second act crisis would kick things back into gear (much like the Twitter feud in the first act) but, outside of Carl having some squabbles with his son (which were easily patched up) none was delivered. The film’s conclusion is strictly “Deus Ex Machina.”
I think “Chef” could use a good trimming prior to a theatrical release.
Posted on April 24, 2014, in Tribeca Film Festival 2014 and tagged Bobby Cannavale, chef, Dustin Hoffman, Emjay Anthony, John Leguizamo, Jon favreau, Jr., Oliver Platt, Robert Downey, Scarlerr Johansson. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.