"Le Chef" is the latest foodie film guaranteed to tickle your taste buds as well as your funny bone. This feisty French comedy is the perfect recipe for curing the summer blockbuster blues.
Jean Reno (the lovable hit man in "The Professional") plays world renown chef and TV personality Alexandre La Garde who finds himself in hot water when the CEO of his restaurant demands a new, more modern menu. It seems that molecular cuisine is now the rage and LaGarde wants nothing to do with free range chicken ice cubes and the like.
Enter Jacky (Michael Youn), an aspiring young chef whose ambitiously inspired cooking hasn't found its venue as of yet. Jacky's constantly being fired from restaurants that don't appreciate his skills doesn't set well with his pregnant girlfriend. His goose is cooked when she sees him on TV working as an unpaid intern for LaGarde. She splits.
Jacky has long worshiped LaGarde and their dynamic together is fueled by the senior chef's vanity. It's a perfect mix as the two attempt creating the new menu which will, hopefully, save LaGarde's job and establish a paying position for Jacky. The sweet smell of success is ever-looming.
"Le Chef" is one of those silly yet endearing comedies which the French are known for making. Director Daniel Cohen ("Les deaux mondes") manages to hit all the right notes in this often hilarious romp which could have easily slipped into cliche. By keeping the film character driven, the "been there, done that" kitchen clashes take a back seat. Reno and Youn play off one another like they've been at it for years.
Watching them live on TV is out loud laughable. Their interaction is like pairing the perfect wine with the perfect entree.
"Le Chef" likely won't garner any major awards but it does dish up some hearty giggles and beautiful cuisine. Set in the "City of Light" further enhances this highly delectable little film, certain to elicit a smile upon exiting the theater.
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