I heard about this movie sometime last year when it premiered at SXSW and also when Jon Favreau plugged it in a quick fire challenge on the cooking show “Top Chef”. I like Jon Favreau and it piqued enough interest in me. The movie is about a workaholic chef, Karl Casper (Favreau) who is fired from his restaurant and rediscovers his passion for cooking by getting a food truck (named El Jefe), making cubanos and driving it across the country while also (re)building a relationship with his son (the cutest thing ever played by EmJay Anthony).
I can’t tell you guys how much I loved this movie. I really did. For one, it was well done. Not too much of anything. Everything was just right and everyone of the star studded cast was well cast except for Sofia Vergara who plays his ex wife and who I just acknowledge can’t be anyone but “Gloria” that she plays on Modern Family. Robert Downey Jr as an ex, John Leguizamo as the sous chef/friend, Bobby Cannavale as fellow chef, Oliver Platt as critic, Dustin Hoffman as restaurant owner and Scarlett Johansson as the restaurant manager. I especially liked how there were so many elements to this movie that came together very well.
There was the comedic aspect – there were many moments where I actually laughed out loud, this included lewd jokes but it wasn’t overdone. There were serious moments – when chef Casper and his son are trying to build a relationship. If you are into cooking and a foodie, the food shots were everything. You could tell how much he loved his job as a chef. We got many shots of the preparation of different dishes, that made you wish you could taste the final product. It also addressed the age old issue most of us have on doing a job where there is no passion that pays the bills vs following your passion. Then there was the music. I came home and immediately looked for the soundtrack. It was a lot of Latin influenced sounds that had me moving a in my seat.
As much as I loved it, I wouldn’t say it was a perfect movie. I found myself wondering how he went from wanting to cook elaborate french cuisine to being happy making sandwiches in a food truck but I guess that could be explained with the overall goal of doing what you want to do and being your own boss. I just couldn’t take Sofia Vergara’s character seriously and I really tried. Well, if you are in the mood for a feel good comedy, I’d recommend it.