Chef – reviews of 'tasty' culinary comedy
Critics drool over Jon Favreau's satisfying new comedy about food, friendship and family
What you need to know
American comedy Chef is released in UK cinemas today. The film is written and directed by Jon Favreau, known for his early indie comedy Swingers, and more recently as the director of Iron Man.
Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) loses his job at a leading Los Angeles restaurant after a bad review and a social media meltdown. Unemployed and adrift, he sets up a food truck in Miami with the help of his friend (John Leguizamo), ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and estranged son, in an effort to recover his passion for cooking and life.
What the critics like
Favreau's first independent film as writer-director in over a decade is a fun comedy that "hits the spot", says Angie Errigo in Empire. This satisfying slice of droolsome food, friendship and family is a crowd-pleaser, robustly amusing, with some tasty tunes and juicy cameos.
This "good-natured culinary comedy, works as an appetite stimulant", and where there's delicious food there's life, says Stephen Holden in the New York Times. Favreau makes an agreeably blustery tour guide in an enjoyable road movie with plenty of tasty stopovers and its pinkie on the pulse of the moment.
The story might revolve around food but it's really about any sort of personal creative drive, says John Defore in the Hollywood Reporter. "Laughs are frequent enough to dilute any sentimentality", and a franchise-worthy cast, and soundtrack full of Latin beats keep things moving along nicely.
What they don't like
You should probably stay away from this film if you are on a diet because the food is droolsome and "contains more than your recommended daily allowance of sugar and cheese", says Siobhan Synnot in The Scotsman. Favreau may feel that simpler fare enhances our cultural life, but Chef is clearly selling comfort food to its audience rather than anything really nourishing.