Sunday, March 15, 2015

Film Review: Chef

Streaming Netflix is both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand it makes it easy to watch an endless amount of media.  On the other because of its limited menu (covering only a limited number of top flight films vs. the mail version of Netflix) you end up scouring the internet for "Best .... on Netflix".  Best horror films, best scifi, just "best films", best "new" films, and on and on and on in an attempt to try and find something worth watching...

So when something like Chef ends up on a number of "best of new films on streaming Netflix" you end up trying it.

While Chef isn't a bad film, it doesn't live up to its billing and certainly not its casting.  Here you have Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr.  With a cast like that you would expect a great film with great performances.  Not so.  What you get is a film that will likely show up on TNT or TBS or the like and be run several hundreds of times due to its positive and completely inoffensive nature.  Seriously, this is like a movie you show to kids in fifth grade to put them to sleep on days when you have a substitute teacher.

Its not completely boring--I could watch Sofia Vergara dust a single mantlepiece for two hours and find it entertaining but, the film tries so hard to be positive and carry a "things will be a all right if you just try hard enough and are a good person" that it is sickenly saccharine.  Take that and the fact that the film ties itself in to so many current "trends" like food trucks, cooking being a metaphor for life, etc. that it plays like a hipster's mishmash of ideas--something Favreau who wrote, directed and starred in this film, should be too old for.

A completely forgettable film, if you're on an airplane feel free to take it in.  It won't offend your neighbor and it might put you both to sleep.

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