“It’s movies like Chef that make me remember why exactly I love movies in the first place.”
I just rewatched Chef and it is every bit as good as I remember. Chef is a movie about a chef (no kidding, right?) who loses his job and decides to buy a food truck and tour America. The film is also interlaced with a lot of commentary about family relationships, specifically those between a father and son.
So Chef has a lot of problems, to avoid that fact would be a lie. First of all, the pacing of the movie is kind of fucked. The first hour focuses on all of the hardships of our main character, which only leaves 40 minutes for the ‘good stuff’ as well as the conclusion. So things feel kind of rushed. It almost feels like Chef sets up a different movie than the one we get, a dark movie about a broken family and an absentee father trying to survive after losing his job, but then pivots and delivers us a feel-good romp across America in a food truck. And with this in mind, the movie also feels a little sloppy. The performances are pretty weak (despite the film having a star-studded cast), and the movie itself feels like it was made by an amateur. Chef does have quite a few things going for it though, even in its ‘dark period’. First of all, the way that this movie presents food is, in my mind at least, unmatched by any other movie on the planet. I haven’t had a film make me so hungry ever in my life. The way that it’s shot, the way that the characters prepare it, the way it is all edited together; it’s legitimately art. And second o all the ilm has an absolutely killer soundtrack. The musical choices reflect so well the feel of the movie, an it really makes the atmosphere almost four-dimensional. It’s like we’re living in the movie.
But if Chef has so many issues, why do I love it so much? Well I was asking that same thing when the movie was on, but then it happened. The film switched gears and became one of the best feel-good films I have ever seen. Seeing these characters drive around in a food truck, making food, having a blast; it’s almost medicinal. It’s impossible for me to watch this movie without a smile plastering my face at all times, and that is something that is rare for a movie to achieve. Sure the ending is a little clean-cut for my tastes, but it also wraps up a lot of emotional beats that were presented throughout the movie in a way that makes your heart hurt, but like in a good way. It’s movies like Chef that make me remember why exactly I love movies in the first place.
Overall Chef is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Sure it has problems, lots of them, but the feeling of happiness that you get when you watch it is unmatched. It truly is the best feel-good movie ever made.
I give Chef an A