Chef (2014) - Jon Favreau
Carl Casper, an acclaimed chef and loving father, has recently been struggling to express himself artistically. With a restaurant owner/boss who insists he stick to the menu, Carl's frustrations are only growing. Eventually those frustrations reach a boiling point, with Carl having an explosive confrontation with a restaurant critic who panned the food his boss ordered him to cook against his instincts. With his career teetering on the edge of ruin, Carl takes his ex-wife's suggestion and decides to head to Miami where he retrofits an old food truck in an effort to cook on his own terms. Jon Favreau's Chef is compelling, easy to digest entertainment about the importance of artistic expression. Chef is not a film specifically about art but about the importance of doing things not for the satisfaction of others but for the satisfaction of oneself. The emotional core of the story is centered around Carl's relationship with his son, Percy, who has been slightly neglected due to Carl's job. Carl's ability to find his artistic expression leads to him forming a deeper relationship with his son, where they bond over their passion for food. Chef is funny and poignant but the way the film unfolds in this quasi-romantic fantasy type of way can be a little much, taking away some of the credibility it earned in its exploration of personal expression. It's not poorly done per se, just a tad too clean in the way the film comes to a close, specifically as it pertains to his ex-wife and the food critic. Jon Favreau's Chef is a highly enjoyable experience, capturing the importance of personal expression as it pertains to overall happiness.
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