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Kiss the Cook (Chef)

A feel good, family film: Jon Favreau has it all here, and he manages not only to write the script and direct, but to impress in the leading role of Carl Casper, as well.

Carl is the head cook of Gauloises, a trendy Los Angeles restaurant. His great talent is the creation of new recipes, a talent not appreciated by Riva, the owner of the restaurant. This inflexible fool (perfectly played by Dustin Hoffman) insists on the same-old menu, when famous food critic Ramsey Michel comes for lunch. Michel’s unfavorable online review sets off an avalanche of tweets and emails. There is a second visit; this time it ends in a loud, insulting, argument and then a fist fight. Carl storms out to face a new future.

Sometimes a forced decision to pick up the pieces and start anew is all that it takes to make a good film. Carl and his friend Martin, who also quit his own job as sous chef in the restaurant, travel to Florida and meet up with Carl’s 10-year-old son Percy, as well as ex-wife Inez, who is visiting her rich boyfriend Marvin. Nice-guy Marvin gives Carl an old trailer, which he and Martin fix up and turn into a Food Truck called El Jefe. He specializes in Cuban grilled sandwiches.

Here the film turns into a road movie from Florida back to California. Percy, on school holiday, joins the group for some good, old-fashioned, father-bonding exercises over the hot grill. The actual sites become interesting: Little Havana in Miami, the Marigny Quarter in New Orleans, The Franklin Barbecue and Guero’s Taco Bar in Austin. Percy is the self-appointed PR manager, announcing their arrival via internet, so that soon big crowds line up for good food.

The film offers interaction between divorced parents and a child, male friendship, a flirt with a co-worker Molly (Scarlett Johansson), determination, reward, as well as delicious-looking food. Don’t go on an empty stomach. Even the simple toasted cheese sandwich will make you drool. The music (26 songs) fits in at the right places; the high-caliber cast, even for small roles, is extremely suitable. And you’ll learn a new use for corn flour.

The topic is especially interesting in Germany, because, for the last two years, the Berlinale film festival, with its cinematic emphasis on food, has invited many such Food Trucks to line up in front of the main festival cinema. This year, 2015, the annual three-day Hamburg Harbor birthday celebrations featured Food Trucks. (Becky Tan)


Abgang mit Stil (Going in Style) (2017)

Auf der Suche nach Oum Kulthum (Looking for Oum Kulthum) (2017)

Baby Driver (2017)

Beuys (2017)

Black Panther (2018)

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Chavela (2017)

Coco - Lebendiger als das Leben (Coco) (2017)

Der Seidene Faden (Phantom Thread) (2017)

Die andere Seite der Hoffnung (The Other Side of Hope, Toivon tuolla puolen) (2017)

Die Reise Der Pinguine 2 (March of the Penguins, L'empereur) (2017)

Die Unsichtbaren – Wir Wollen Leben (The Invisibles) (2017)

Die Verlegerin (The Post) (2017)

Discreet (2017)

Exodus (Exodus Where I Come from Is Disappearing) (2017)

Feinde – Hostiles (Hostiles) (2017)

Genauso anders wie ich (Same Kind of Different as Me) (2017)

Gregs Tagebuch – Böse Falle! (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The long Haul) (2017)

Hereditary - Das Vermächtnis (Hereditary) (2018)

Immer noch eine unbequeme Wahrheit: Unsere Zeit läuft (An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power) (2017)

Isle of Dogs - Ataris Reise (Isle of Dogs) (2018)

Isle of Dogs - Ataris Reise (Isle of Dogs) (2018)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Lady Bird (2017)

Max - Agent auf vier Pfoten (Max 2 - White House Hero) (2017)

Maze Runner: Die Auswerwählten in der Todeszone (Maze Runner: The Death Cure) (2018)

Midnight Sun (2018)

Molly's Game: Alles auf eine Karte (Molly's Game) (2017)

Operation: 12 Strong (12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers) (2018)

Paddington 2 (2017)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazars Rache (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) (2017)

Playing God (2018)

Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow (2018)

Shape of Water - Das Flüstern des Wassers (The Shape of Water) (2017)

The Big Sick (2017)

The Rider (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Tiger Girl (2017)

Tulpenfieber (Tulip Fever) (2017)

What Happened to Monday? (Seven Sisters) (2017)

Wind River (2017)

Wunder (Wonder) (2017)

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Battle of the Sexes - Gegen jede Regel (Battle of the Sexes) (2017)

Black Panther (2018)

Das Etruskische Lächeln (The Etruscan Smile) (2018)

Die Dunkelste Stunde (Darkest Hour) (2017)

Die Schlümpfe - Das verlorenen Dorf (The Smurfs - The Lost Village) (2017)

Eleanor & Colette (55 Steps) (2017)

Es (It) (2017)

Greatest Showman (The Greatest Showman) (2017)

Life, Animated (2017)

Logan Lucky (2017)

Loveless (Nelyubov) (2017)

Loving Vincent (2017)

No Way Out – Gegen Die Flammen (Only the Brave) (2017)

Planet der Affen: Survival (War for the Planet of the Apes) (2017)

Schloss aus Glas (The Glass Castle) (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Star Wars: Die letzten Jedi (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) (2017)

The Commuter (2018)

The Death of Stalin (2017)

The Limehouse Golem - Das Monster von Londen (The Limehouse Golem) (2017)

The Rider (2017)

Unsere Erde 2 (Earth: One Amazing Day) (2017)

Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017)

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