Coleridge (Samuel) coined the concept ‘Suspension of Disbelief‘ while trying to explain the thing that happens in our minds when we don’t give a fuck for credibility because of the awesomeness we are experiencing. This happened to me in almost every superhero movie. In ‘2001: Space Odyssey’, in ‘Interstellar’ (and ‘Gravity’, yep, every space flick). This happens a lot. We just don’t care because the experience is so good. Why should I care about the actual position of the space stations? Sandra Bullock is having a schizophrenic moment!
So when I realised that Jon Favreau had sex with Sofia Vergara AND Scarlett Johansson, well, that was way too much for me. Weirder relationships have happened tho.
PRODUCER: Aldamisa Entertainment
Truck of What?
You see, I really don’t mind the idea of some dude with no good looks boning a fine lady, but two of the hottest girls on the planet? Being virtually no one?
Favreau and big shot:
-A chef with a mental breakdown plans to buy a taco truck.
-Ex-wife played by Colombian hottie Sofia Vergara.
-Good, good. Going for the TV audience.
-Actual fling, Scarlett Johansson, a waitress or something.
-I like this. Who would play the lead? Brad Pitt?
And that’s were 20th Century Fox just jumped the wagon.
Carl Casper (Favreau) is a forty something chef on a well-known LA restaurant whose manager is Riva (Dustin Hoffman collecting a paycheck). He is having tough times since he knew that Ramsey (Oliver Platt), an important food critic, is visiting the restaurant. His sous chef Tony and his first assistant Martin (Bobby Cannavale and John Leguizamo, both great) are helping Carl and encouraging him to do his best. They are friends. Buddies. He is not the classic tyrant chef. Riva knows that Carl will go with a new menu for the critic and he just wants him to play safe.
Everyone cares for Casper. His beautiful and understanding ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara), his fling (Scarlett Johansson), his friends, and even his son Percy (Emjay Anthony) who tries so much to connect with his father that you’ll whisper ‘douchebag‘ to the screen at any sight of Favreau.
And Carl fucks it up. Ramsey destroys Carl on his critic. Carl has a meltdown. He goes on a journey of self-discovery to Miami with his ex-wife who is rich for some reason and son, where they will try cuban food with Percy’s abuelito. He then buys a truck from previous ex-husband of Inez, Marvin (Robert Downey Junior, in a three minute role that make it to the official poster). Keep watching. Or not. Everything goes south from now on.
Truck of meh
There are lots of issues with this movie. Firstly, the plot. It’s not unbelievable. The evolution though it’s extremely linear and moronic. A meltdown is realistic if we are delivered with hints. He had a meltdown for a bad review and what…? A hard relationship with his son? There’s an emoji for this somewhere. Second, and important while it could not appear that way: a guy that looks like Jon Favreau doesn’t have sex with girls that looks like Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson. Sorry dude. That’s how the universe works. They are hot, and they deserve hot. Your only hotness comes from staying too close to the oven. Deal with it. The incredible of the plot does not end there. We can accept that if everything else is realistic. It’s not. Martin it’s promoted to sous chef when Carl resigns to the restaurant and receives Carl blessing… only to run to his friend when he knows he is getting a Taco truck. What? Everything else is like that. An amount of ‘what’s?’.
The movie, filmed in mid-2013 was released for 2014 Christmas time and made a decent gross. Favreau, who directed, wrote and produced (and acted), made a lot of phone calls to his friends for them to show up for small roles. The move played well, even when the movie sucks a lot. The whole deal was to make a PG comedy about a troubled man repairing his relationship with his son, and while all the technical sections work fine, the plot doesn’t. Favreau directs at a fast pace -maybe too much food porn shots- with the soundtrack humming on the back and taking a role at every scene (chopping onions; walking through New Orleans), and it’s all so good in that matter, that you feel bad that what he is trying to show doesn’t work at all.
You’ll laugh at the script jokes, and at everything else.