Chef is Jon Favreau returning to a smaller, intimate movie. It is the story of a highly celebrated chef caught in a bind serving a menu he doesn't believe in because he's trapped in a restaurant that is not his. Favreau plays the chef who has a meltdown, gets fired, and has to pick up his pieces thanks to his ex-wife. He finds the menu he finally believes in in Cuban sandwiches served from a food truck which he drives from Miami to LA. This drive redeems him as a person and a cook. It also redeems him with his son who accompanies him. They reconnect over cooking and the food.

This movie seems to be Favreau addressing his role as a filmmaker. He was a hotshot as a writer with Swingers then moved onto the big stage by directing Iron Man 1 and 2. Did that move cost him his auteur status? Did the knocks against Iron Man 2 make him freak out? Perhaps, but to address it Favreau returned to a smaller movie which he wrote and directed.

When I watched this movie, I had already had dinner. With scenes of cooking, it made me want to have another meal. Don't watch this if you hadn't eaten yet. Don't watch it if you have. It'll make you hungry.

3 of 5 stars.

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