I am fascinated by the critics’ take on the movie Chef, which is currently 88 percent fresh on RottenTomatoes.com.
I found it stale and oh-so-overcooked.
I watch a lot of Food Network, so I had high hopes for the film’s ‘recipe’: a chef gets fired after he starts a Twitter war with a restaurant critic, and opens a food truck.
Seems new, seems current.
Turns out all the conflict that drives the film is in the first 15 minutes. After the chef (Jon Favreau) loses his job, everyone and everything starts working in his favor.
- Need a food truck? His ex-wife gets her other ex-husband to provide one. Takes him to Miami to get it. Appears to bankroll the enterprise, too. (Sure, that happens.)
- Need help setting it up? His former junior cook travels across the country — without pay — to help him get started. That sainted ex-wife even takes orders at one point.
- Need to reconnect with your kid? The ex-wife — again, the most non-confrontational divorced couple in the history of movies and life, for that matter — lets an 11-year old kid work as a line cook on a food truck for the entire summer. Without checking in. Right.
I don’t want to give away the ending in case you plan to see it. But let’s just say that, once the food truck is parked —
Nothing really happens then, either. Or if it does, they don’t show it.
Because conflict might wake you up out of your food coma.