Actors: Jean Reno, Michael Youn
Director: Daniel Cohen
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Cohen Media Group
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Run Time: 84 minutes
has long had the tendency to look
towards the foreign film market for new ideas to replicate, but Daniel Cohen’s
lighthearted culinary comedy is a French film which seems to be imitating the
bubbling simplicity of an American comedy. Realism and originality are thrown
out the window for a carefree romp in the cinematic world of French
haute-cuisine. While this approach is likely to keep Le Chef off of any lists
for artistic achievements, it makes for an engaging evening of entertainment. Hollywood
Not unlike a dish of comfort food, Le Chef offers predictable pleasure in the form of clichés and tradition. Fans of cinema are unlikely to find any new twists to the familiar formula, but that won’t deter many viewers from the comfort of a typical comedy narrative. Seasoned chef Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno) is in danger of losing his restaurant to a new world of molecular gastronomy in food, stuck in his old habits of cooking. It takes the enthusiastic ambition of a self-taught aspiring chef named Jacky (Michaël Youn) to reignite Lagarde’s passion for food, pulling him away from the complacency of success and celebrity.
There are elements of the film which are more grounded, such as Lagarde’s struggles connecting with his college-age daughter. Jacky also has a series of sitcom scenarios play out with his pregnant girlfriend, including hijinks to hide a secret and a disastrous drunken proposal involving a personalized dessert. The main focus of the film, however, is on the whimsical adventures in food experimentation. The portrayal of molecular gastronomy in food is comically exaggerated, which can also detract from the presentation of truly delicious looking food. And isn’t that the main indulgence of cooking films?
The Blu-ray release includes a high definition presentation of the polished-looking comedy, along with a handful of deleted scenes, a featurette, and a blooper reel in the special features. There is also a trailer.
Entertainment Value: 7.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 5/10
Special Features: 6/10