Today I will be reviewing two movies that are not really trying to tell a story but want to convey a certain love and passion for the subject it is presenting. In Chef it's the love of good food and in Ping Pong Summer it is the love and nostalgia for the Eighties.
So first I will be discussing Chef.
Review Chef (2014)
genre: comedy, feel good, drama
Chef is a small tale about a chef played by Jon Favreau who is very passionate about his job and food who does not get to show anymore what he is about by the restaurant owner he is working for (Dustin Hoffman). He gets pushed over the edge by a food critic (Oliver Platt) and then decides to follow the advice of his ex-wife played by Sofia Vergara to start up a food truck where he will get the chance to do what he loves the most and at the same time gets the chance to bond with his son. This basically is all that is going which might seem very uneventful for some but if you are passionate about cooking and food as I am then you will simply love this film. But if you don't share that passion. If you are someone who puts ketchup on his food without even having tasted it then this film will get lost on you. For some cooking and food is more than just consumption. In many cultures it's what brings people together. Chef does explore other themes but it shows exactly what I just have been telling how food can connect people. However you can take it more broadly and see it as an allegory to passion in general. Anybody who is passionate about something and does not get the chance to do what he or she loves to do the most will be able to relate to what our main character is going through. There is one scene where Jon's character gets real angry and very rightfully so speaks out his mind of all the work he and his staff has put in. It is very easy for an outsider to critique and put down someone or someone's work. Some people really put a lot of themselves into their work and then it does hurt if some random person would dismiss it like it does not mean anything. In the end it does succeed in making you feel good at the end. Cliché and predictable? When it comes to feel good movies that is never a bad thing.
Now the next movie in this article.
Review Ping Pong Summer (2014)
genre: comedy drama
Ping Pong Summer is a very small movie with not that much of a story. It basically is about a boy going on vacation and his little experiences during this. In the trailer it is made look like this is a Karate Kid like film only using Ping Pong instead. While it is an important part of the film it's not a film where we get to see the boy endure some harsh and comedic training. Would have been nice though to be honest but seeing how this movie does deliver on other things it is something that can be overlooked. The film does one thing very well. Which is represent the Eighties and make people who have fond memories from that decade feel nostalgic about it. Then it doesn't really matter that the acting by some isn't that good or that there is not much going on. Naturally people who don't understand the Eighties or why this era is so loved won't get this movie. For people who do, this film will be very enjoyable and fun. There is not much I can say about this unless the fact that Susan Sarandon looks damn good for her age and is still very sexy. For Eighties lovers a must watch. And it does make you feel good at the end if you don't expect too much from the plot.
Chef maybe a predictable movie but it never feels like a waste of time and does reward you at the end. Ping Pong Summer is one movie that is all about nostalgia and ambiance and therefore not for everyone. But it is a very charming little movie that deserves to be watched at least once.