#ChefIsSoMoney

Celebrity Sightings - Bauer-Griffin - 2013

You could draw a long, clean line from the 1996 film Swingers to the 2014 film Chef.  On the surface they couldn’t be more disparate - one a generational touch-point about proto-hipsters creating their own culture during the swing revival of the mid 1990′s, the other a film about an artist chef getting back to his roots and reigniting his passions.  But they both have at their center a sad man (Jon Favreau) at a crossroads in his life.  In Swingers he was a young guy who couldn’t get over the heartbreak of his first love lost while struggling to break into acting.  Then in Chef he’s a middle-aged guy stuck in a rut after a divorce and struggling to fuel his passion for cooking.  Both films show the prototypical artistic man at different stages in his life struggling to find balance and deal with feelings of loss.  As it turns out, Favreau, when not directing perfectly serviceable blockbusters for the Hollywood machine, is capable of tapping into the male psyche with great sensitivity and humor through really good indie screenplays.

Carl Casper (Favreau) is a formerly renowned chef who’s lost his zest for life while working at a successful Los Angeles restaurant run by a man (Dustin Hoffman) who stifles his creativity and forces him to stick to the same old menu even when a top critic (Oliver Platt) stops by for a visit.  He has a loyal crew (Bobby Cannavale and a shockingly likable John Leguizamo) and a sassy sexy hostess/waitress (Scarlett Johansson) who urge him to reignite those fires, but it takes a public blow-up with the critic who pans the tired menu that goes viral through Twitter to force him to take stock of his life after losing his job.  When his ex-wife (the saucy and smoking hot Sofia Vergara) suggests he come with her to Miami (where he originally got his groove on for cooking), he reluctantly takes the opportunity under the guise of bonding with his smart, tech-savvy ten year-old son, Percy (Emjay Anthony, one of the most unaffected and casually natural child actors to come down the pike in a while).  Still, it takes his ex’s ex (Robert Downey Jr.) gifting him a food truck before he truly seizes the moment to find his passion again and reconnect with the ones he most loves.

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One Two Three Four I Declare a Chicken War

 VS.

Choose Your Chicken Wisely, Good Citizens!

Look, it’s not like my name is Stan and there’s some Wendy Testaburger out there who I’m trying to impress by being all political and stuff. When I blog about politics, it normally leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You might learn something about me you didn’t care to know and I might learn something about you I didn’t care to know. And then it’s awkward talkin’ for awhile. I’ve tried to avoid taking a side in the recent Chick-fil-A debate. To be honest, I always liked their food and I didn’t understand what one lunatic exec’s political views had to do with that food and the locally owned franchises in my area. But I can’t stand idly by anymore…and here’s why.

Lemme tell you a little story about what happened to me last night. Driving home from a hard day’s work, I was cravin’ some Chick-fil-A as I often do. So I decided to stop on by, and I honestly thought all the recent boycott talk might’ve hurt business and I would be able to conveniently race through the drive-thru in record time. It was all about me, see? What I found was a line around the block and a long wait for some extra-lousy, fatty, greasy, poorly breaded nuggets and soggy waffle fries. Eating the nasty grub at home, I thought, “What the hell?” And then I saw it on the news – Yup! – I unwittingly participated in the hate-laced, Huckabee & Palin-endorsed “Support Chick-fil-A Day.” I became sick to my stomach for multiple reasons. Continue reading