Heard from my wife upon exiting the movie theatre, "That was the best movie you've taken me to in at least five years." This is pretty high praise because I've brought her to some real masterpieces but apparently not enough feel-good comedies which seems to be very much her genre (her favourite movie of all time is Ghostbusters, which we saw the following night).
So where to begin with Chef? As a screenwriter, director and all that, Jon Favreau has much respect from me. He apparently has much respect from actors as well given all the cameos in this movie. This movie is just plain fun and it is often hilarious. It might just well be my favourite John Leguizamo performance as well. He is just hilarious and lights up every scene he's in.
It is somewhat humbling that it takes a movie about an out-of-tech-touch dad for me to finally learn how Twitter actually functions or how to properly pronouce "meme." Guess who I identified with in the movie?
Apart from learning a great recipe for hush puppies, I am once again reminded (last time was Spanglish) that knowing how to cook well is a powerful tool if you are looking to either seduce a person of interest or in simply bringing you closer to your kid. Cooking is an awesome passion and I wish I had talent or interest in it. This film makes a powerful case for loving the craft.
I've noticed that a recurring problem I've had with rating many movies is that my brain and my heart are often at war at how much I like a movie. When I was 18 I had a 3rd organ in the mix with an opinion (Cruel Intentions is Oscar-worthy!) but luckily he's quieted down. So I think from now on, I need to give a "Brain" rating for a movie for nitpickers like me to appreciate as well as a "Heart" rating at how much emotion a movie can get out of you.
Brain rating: 3.5 stars (it's formulaic and isn't taking risks)
Heart rating: 4.5 stars (I was smiling and laughing the ENTIRE time, so shut up brain).