Director: Daniel Cohen
French comedy Le Chef follows the struggles of veteran chef Alexandre (Jean Reno) and his second in command Jacky (Michael Youn) as they try to juggle home life with their love of cooking. This tricky situation is further exacerbated by the interfering son of Alexandre’s retired business partner trying to shut down their restaurant.
I have to admit that I didn’t expect much when I went to see this film, and to be honest, I wasn’t blown away. Le Chef’s storyline was average at best, and reminded me quite a bit of Ratatouille and The Mighty Ducks. The film’s strengths lay in its in its portrayal of the characters and the subtle build-up of humour throughout.
Halfway through the film things started to get extremely weird, as though the director had spontaneously dropped a couple of tabs of acid. The chefs got really into a new style of food, “molecular gastronomy”, involving mixing liquid nitrogen into food and breaking down duck into cubes which tasted like raspberry. It was all a bit too Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for me.
I enjoyed this film, but it’s not something I’ll be watching again anytime soon — once was enough. Definitely check out Le Chef if you are a fan of cooking, or you just want to watch an enjoyable movie.
4 / 5 stars