In my search for a list of comedies that I haven't seen, I stumbled on this hidden gem, full of stars, that I haven't seen yet. And half the cast are Marvel characters! Writing, directing and starring in this, Jon Favreau apparently brings a personal twist to the film's lead character - a celebrity chef who has to find himself again after a critic lays into him on Twitter.
Based in LA, chef Carl Casper (Favreau) runs a kitchen, alongside his best chefs, Martin (John Legiuzamo) and Tony (Bobby Cannavale). While trying to get adventurous in trying to impress the aforementioned critic, Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt), his boss (Dustin Hoffman) demands that he's not cooking fancy food for a critic, but for a crowd of regular people, not looking for anything fancy. The critic says what he needs to say on Twitter, and with the help of his son, Percy (Emjay Anthony), Carl gets onto Twitter and starts a war with him that soon enough leads to Carl quitting his job, and even trending as a viral video when he loses it on Ramsey.
He then takes the combined advice of hostess and seemingly intimate friend, Molly (Scarlett Johansson) and ex-wife, Inez (Sofía Vergara) to start a food truck, serving authentic Cuban cuisine. On top of that, he will be able to take his son with him, spending much more quality time with him, and getting to know him. As a chef, he claims not to have any time, and the food truck idea has the potential to remedy that for a summer, driving around America, and setting up shop wherever they may go. By the way, the food truck comes awkwardly from Inez's ex before Carl, Marvin (Robert Downey Jr.). But lucky for us, none of the main focus of this film is love triangle melodrama.
This is a great side project from Favreau, who clearly puts his whole heart into the film. You can tell that this was a passion project for him, clearing so much aside to tell us a simple story about father-son bonding, friendships, relationships and food, food and more food. This is a film that will make you wanna eat your TV, everything they make looks so incredibly good. It does start with the slicing up of a pig, so that may be iffy for the vegetarian crowd. But everything beyond that just makes your mouth water. Favreau takes great care here in making everything he makes look not only delicious, but delicately taken care of, and made to perfection.
The biggest reason for this movie being so good is that it has absolutely no need to go into anything beyond the simplicity of the story at hand. It dabbles in his personal relationships, but when you get that he takes combined advice from a potential love interest as well as an ex - who he's good friends with, by the way - you get that things flow a little more naturally here, and there's no real drama. The most intense scene is Carl losing his shit on Ramsey, and even that is turned into a bit of a joke. It's a simple, delightful, light-hearted comedy that will leave you with a smile, as well as food cravings - even if it does manage to be a 2-hour Twitter ad. If you're a foodie, this one is for you!