Friday, February 12, 2016

Mock Squid Soup - February 12, 2016 - Chef

So if you read my wife's post on her website, Hungry Enough To Eat Six, (she has been giving me updates on the number of folks who have tried clicking over from her site to see my comments) you'll know the movie we watched this month is the Jon Favreau vanity project from 2014, "Chef".

Currently #526 on my flickchart list

After directing the first two Iron Man movies and producing the third, along with both Avengers movies, Favreau had, what I've often heard referred to as, "F you money."  I am not writing that in a dismissive way.  He had enough money to get this movie made.  He had an idea, researched it, wrote, directed, produced, and starred in a movie he truly believed in.

And it is not a bad movie.  It's just not my sort of movie.  It was enjoyable.  The soundtrack was fun.  But the movie is flat.


For me, the gist of the movie is as follows:  a relatively happy chef, Favreau, working at a dream job, suddenly realizes he is somewhat stifled creatively working for Dustin Hoffman.  This comes to a head when a food critic is dismissive of his current work.  The chef gets disproportionately upset by this, sleeps with Scarlett Johansson, and flies to Miami with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and their son to rediscover what he loved about cooking.  Once in Miami, Vergara has her other ex-husband, Robert Downey, Jr., bankroll Favreau's mid-life "crisis" and allow him the chance to reconnect with his son.  The movie ends with the critic returning to visit Favreau and bankrolling a NEW restaurant for the both to run....and Favreau remarries Vergara.

Aside from a scene where the son burns a sandwich and is, at first, somewhat dismissive of the burned sandwich, this movie is relatively free from strife.  There is no real change to any of the characters.  The movie feels like it is missing its second act.  There is no conflict.  Every misstep by a character is rectified almost instantly.

I was also bummed because by trimming some of the language, this would have been a great movie for our "Family Movie Night".  I love the things my son and I share in common and those parts of this movie resonated for me.  But I can't share the movie with him because it was unnecessarily crass.

That being said, I'm late posting this and Nan and I just came back from our current favorite activity, drunk grocery shopping, so what do I know.


  1. When I first saw this appear on Netflix, I reluctantly agreed to watch it (Hubzam was in control of the remote). I was pleasantly surprised when I LOVED it. Great film! Feelgood movies are sorely missed in this day and age.

  2. I'm one of the people who clicked over from Nancy's site. I had to read the other side of the story. Might be worth watching for the lava cakes. I'll just have to remember not to watch it when I'm hungry.

  3. I was not as enamoured with the film as many others were. I liked his buddy in the truck but I found the main character somewhat preachy to his son. I just couldn't get into this movie

  4. We love food movies but, as with you, the language is likely to keep this one out of the FMN rotation for a while.

  5. Here I am, still trying to catch up with Favreau's earlier movies like Swingers and Made. I guess I'll get back to you in a few decades...

  6. One thing's for sure, it was a great movie for you and I to watch together! We had a lot of laughs (well, I did) at how very differently we felt about the movie!
    I'm going to cook some Spaghetti Aglio E Olio for you, and I want you to react the way Scarlett Johansson did.


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