Jon Favreau eats amazing food for two hours and makes everyone else watch.
The general rule with Jon Favreau is the more of a douchebag his character, the funnier his performance (See: I Love You Man). The standard Favreau jackass character is not well defined enough to carry a full film however so we see a much more likeable and realistic Jon Favreau on show here.
As writer, director and star of Chef, Favreau has to justify making himself the centre of attention, luckily his turn as Carl Casper is warm and authentic. It helps that Favreau has assembled such a top notch supporting cast with Dustin Hoffman and Scarlett Johansson used sparingly but effectively and John Leguizamo and newcomer Emjay Anthony sharing a convincing chemistry with Favreau.
Emjay Anthony plays Favreau’s son and is genuinely brilliant throughout which is so important in the more emotional scenes. Throw in a solid soundtrack, a hilarious Robert Downey Jr cameo and the always excellent Oliver Platt and you are left with a nice story, acted brilliantly that has doses of sentiment without ever succumbing completely. It is difficult to imagine anyone disliking Chef.