Jon Favreau Tackles Food Bloggers in Hipsterish 'Chef'
Jon Favreau's 'Chef' is probably the best movie to be released this weekend.
Jon Favreau's latest movie Chef is very...now. It follows the story of a fine-dining chef in Los Angeles who gets tired of the shackles imposed on him by a money-mad restaurateur and so decides to follow his heart and cook from a food van. It's basically the story of every chef in London. If you love Pitt Cue Co, Hawksmoor, Meat Liquor and Bubbledogs, then you'll love Favreau's new movie.
Jon Favreau [centre] in 'Chef'
The rise of the food blogger has created a new critical landscape for restaurants, and some writers - including Chris Pople of Cheese & Biscuits - can now heavily influence how a new eatery performs upon opening.
Favreau references the food blogging phenomenon in Chef. There's a nice segment in the latest trailer in which his character reads out a review of his restaurant to his co-workers.
"His dramatic weight gain can only be explained by the fact that he must be eating all the food sent back to the kitchen," he says, his face dropping.
Favreau spoke to ComingSoon.net about the potential pitfalls of going after critics in movies, with the interviewer pointing towards M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water, in which a film critic meets a grisly end.
"But the critic is pretty cool in this one," he said, "At the end of the day, it seems like there's a critic archetype for food movies, like with "Ratatouille" or anything. You know, if you were doing a puppet show about chefs, one puppet would be the chef, one would be the critic. That's just how it is."
Jon Favreau's Character Begins Serving Food Out of a Van
In 'Chef', the food critic is played by the great Oliver Platt, whose brother is Adam Platt, a big food critic in New York.
"...the critic doesn't say much in the beginning at all," said Favreau of Platt's character, "He says very little. But to have him to help write the review, the help of him and his brother, and then also to really I think bring the perspective that wasn't cartoony to what the critic's underlying motivation was. Especially in the food business, critics take very seriously how much power they have. They can shut a restaurant down. The movie business not so much, maybe once, but not anymore."
In terms of the movie critics, Chef has scored highly amongst this week's new releases and is probably the pick of the pack.
"It has lots of smart things to say about social media, criticism and father-son relationships - while also appealing to fans of food porn and mildly raunchy buddy movies," said Lou Lumenick of the New York Post.
"A delectable take on an out-of-work cook who experiences career rejuvenation when traveling cross-country serving Cuban entrees on a foodtruck," said Jessica Herndon of the Associated Press.
Chef hits theaters in the U.S on May 9, 2014.