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Thursday, April 9, 2015

CHEF (2014)

Puppy-dog likable pic about a bummed out chef who rediscovers his bliss (and his family) by trading in his restaurant for a food truck. It’s harmless enough, but under writer/director/star Jon Favreau it’s just like his character's signature chocolate lava cake dessert, too sweet on the outside and positively gooey on the inside. In fact, Favreau kickstarts his mid-life crisis noisily defending this dish, part of a menu he’s just been seen railing against. He should be agreeing with the criticism. Instead, like too much else here, Favreau undercuts his dramatic points with lazy sentiment, easy narrative escapes and feel-good music used as indiscriminately as brown gravy in a diner. You’ll see why so many people liked it, but the film’s more Sloppy Joe than Cubano Sandwich. Best Dish on the Menu: a breakthrough perf from Favreau’s sous-chef pal John Leguizamo, a little older, a little thicker, a little slower on the uptake, he registers on screen in a way he never has before.*

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: *Favreau, also older, thicker, slower, just registers as Louis C. K. on a bad day.

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