Considering one of the plot points of this film is how critics—who have no talent or ability in their field of expertise—can devastate their subjects, I am a tad hesitant to proceed. Let me start by saying this: I have seen every film Jon Favreau has directed. He is an extremely talented director, and lets the movie speak without being heavy-handed or pretentious. Like his work in front of the camera, his direction is charming. When Favreau decided to make this movie, he came on board with a director, a screenwriter and a leading man. What he apparently did not have was an editor.
Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is a brilliant chef. He has neglected every other aspect of his life—wife, son, friendships, health—in that pursuit. After a caustic review slams Casper, he loses it. He delivers the death blow to his relationship with the owner of his restaurant (Dustin Hoffman) when he refuses to continue cooking the same dated menu. After some wallowing and some hemming and hawing, Capser buys a food truck and with the help of his sous chef, Martin (John Leguizamo), and his son, Percy (Emjay Anthony), he starts running his own mobile kitchen. The men take the truck cross-country and the adventure begins. Did it seem like it took me a while to get there? Welcome to my world.
This is a lovely, funny, wonderfully acted film. The big problem is, it’s an 80-minute movie that takes two hours. By the time you get to the real story, you’re out of gas. It’s a 5.