Run time: 114mins
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr, Oliver Platt
Synopsis: Restaurant owner Riva refuses to let his chef Carl Casper’s creative juices flow, particularly with a visit pending from killer food critic Ramsey Michel. Carl is given an ultimatum – either cook the Riva approved dishes on the menu or leave. Carl sticks to the menu, and the subsequent bad review criticising his lack of creativity results in a Twitter flame war and his split from Riva. With the help of his friend Martin, ex-wife Inez and young son Percy, Carl opens up a food truck and tours the country with his Cuban inspired culinary delights, rediscovering his passion for cooking and his role as a father.
The larger than life presence of Jon Favreau dominates this film, with his infectious good humour making the movie an unashamed feel good experience. He totally convinces, both as a father attempting to overcome a growing alienation from his social media savvy son, and as a chef who prides himself in his kitchen skills and innovative repertoire (it is worth staying for a post-credits sequence of Favreau being taught how to be a convincing chef by the real thing). The film takes a welcome swipe at world of food critics, and the ludicrous excesses of Twitter, as Carl learns to love the social media. There are universally good performances from the stars – some of them in nothing more than brief cameos, but ultimately the film belongs to Favreau as writer, producer and director. Warning! Do not go to this film if you are feeling at all hungry – its mouth-watering mise-en-scene will make it an unbearable experience.
Images courtesy of Lionsgate UK