Jon Favreau writes, directs and takes the title role in this utterly beguiling film about talented chef Carl, whose stagnant professional and personal lives are turned upside down when he lashes out after a bad review.
Forced to start afresh with his own food truck business, Carl spends a long summer touring the U.S., making and selling the food he wants to instead of the food he’s expected to, re-discovering his passion for life and re-connecting with his young son. Which I know sounds terribly dull and worthy, but it’s really not; Chef is a genuinely lovely, funny film about family, friendship, food and fun that I absolutely adored.
If I have one quibble, it’s that Favreau’s Iron Man 2 buddy Robert Downey Junior turning up as Carl’s ex-wife’s first ex-husband is a little jarring – the character he plays is too OTT and annoying to really fit in with the rest of the film or even add anything to the story – but he’s only in it for a few minutes so it really doesn’t matter. The rest of the film is wonderful.