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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chef/Begin Again: Two Reviews In One

return of the indie film
This summer’s feel-good film, (Chef/Begin Again) from indie film favorite director John (Favreau/ Carney) is hardly an indie; the cast includes Hollywood A-listers (John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara/Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley), and the storyline is implausibly perfect.

I enjoyed this film but couldn’t help escape the feeling that the team was trying to recapture the spirit of their great (1990s/2000s) low budget gem (Swingers/Once). The tone just feels odd for 2014. And it doesn’t help that they chose the tired (food/music) genre.

Although the movie seems to be about (food/music), it’s really a casual film about estranged relationships and nothing deeper than that. Casting probably kept this film from going there. While I enjoyed every scene with (Vergara, Knightley), she was just too Hollywood-famous and gorgeous for the grit we needed. For a story that preached about authenticity, this film is ironically too slick to go there.

(Chef’s/Begin Again’s) soundtrack is the redeeming grace. You’ll smile a lot in the theater as the story plays out and the music plays on. It’s a fun (1 hour 40 minutes/1 hour 55 minutes). I just don’t think they’ll make this one again in (ten/twenty) years. 

Simply put: (Movie comfort food/A pop hit) that the whole family will enjoy. 

Award potential: It’s a stellar cast with everyone performing just right for a light film, but nothing more. 

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks (between the two).

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