The Chef (2012) Poster

(2012)

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7/10
a simple but refreshing comedy
chatbada20 March 2012
Of course, don't expect here a masterpiece or any attempt to make an original plot or anything like that : this is a mainstream production, and all we should expect from it, is just to be funny, well-done, and without bad taste ingredients. And so it is. A simple comedy, gentle, with a good rhythm, and nice characters. In fact, not only the main characters are good here, but everybody is, and the supporting actors here have their place, and contribute to our pleasure. Jean Reno and Michaël Youn compose a nice duet. There's not much that I can add. Except that even if everything was easily expect regarding the plot, what is never obvious to expect is that we'd have such a very good time.
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7/10
It doesn't simply deliver, it serves with elegance!
kloklo_8721 July 2012
I've watched countless french movies and with a mother who actually lived in France for many many years it's customary to watch one together in the cinema instead on DVD. This time we made an excellent choice. It was refreshing, with smart dialogues and hilarious moments. It brought something of when everything is evolving in this world will the French cuisine take the challenge or does it even worth to try? Mu mother enjoyed it immensely and she would know having watched French's cinema finest.... As for me... I haven't laughed so since TV5 had la poison 1951 at its schedule! And as an extra treat was the lack of plot holes or nothing I noticed anyway (and believe me that'a quite hard)
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Entirely predictable, and entirely delightful
harry_tk_yung12 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not sure if soufflés is a good persona proxy for this movie but I'll use it anyway – light, fluffy and sweet. My summary line says the rest.

One time assassin-personified Jean Reno acquires a new persona playing Alexandre Lagarde, a Michelin 3-star chef who is in danger of being downgraded to 2-star because of rigid adherence to tradition, thereby failing to keep up with the trend. Believe it or not, his steadfast perseverance is surpassed by that of his young assistant Jacky Bonnet (superbly played by Michael Youn) who knows every receipt the master ever created by heart, and never shies away from a confrontation when he notices that the master has deviated ever so slightly from his own original receipt. More than once, when reminded that he has not followed the Largarde receipt, the 3-star chef in exasperation yells, "but I AM Lagarde".

This odd couple is thrown together by chance. On Lagarde's side, the semi-retired restaurant owner's son, in his eagerness to take over the empire, starts by sending Largarde's left- and right-hand men sway to head up establishments in other cities, with the eventual design of getting rid of Lagarde himself. As to Bonnet who, while brilliant, is entirely self-taught and therefore needs a proper entry-point into the profession that he craves. Obviously, the duo fit each other's needs perfectly, and chance does the rest.

The main plot, then, is in how the two fight off the owner's son's attempt to discredit Lagarde by inviting prestigious restaurant critics who have a preference for modern trends, such as "molecular gastronomy" (if you, like me, do not know what this is, watch the movie and find out, amidst a roar of laughs).

Almost another main plot is Bonnet's relationship with heavily pregnant girlfriend (exquisitely lovely Raphaelle Agogue), the standard rom-com staple in this movie. To complete, there is a sub-plot of Largarde's relationship with his grown-up daughter preparing for presentation and defence of an academic paper. In addition, there is the usual assortment of support and minor characters to adorn the movie.

Here you have it all: funny (at times hilarious), sweet, warm and touching, feel-good. The fact that almost everything is quite expected does not in any way diminish the pleasure you'll derive from this delightful 84-minute fare.
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7/10
Good-natured but predictable and harmless fun
IndustriousAngel9 September 2013
Nothing to be ashamed here, you can do worse than spend an evening with this comedy, but there's little here that puts it above other feel-good comedies with the exception of Jean Reno - who is, sadly, the only one here with real comedy timing. The main actor, Youn, is obviously a bit overstrained with carrying the movie.

Apart from the boring lead, the gags are OK and mostly good-natured, what's maybe missing is a bit more "bite" or bitterness in this altogether rather sweet mix. Some punches are thrown against stylish kitchen trends and star restaurants (which is OK with me, but those are easy targets).

Recommended for people who like cooking themselves (as we do).
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8/10
You will can go crazy particularly if you hungry!!!!
vintkd22 June 2012
It's very kind and nice French comedy with original plot and remarkable actors. I like films about food and different cuisines like "Julie & Julia", "Ratatouille" or "No Reservations" and if you like such films too, you'll should be watch to "Comme un chef" without fail. This film has the many such delicious and beautiful dishes with very attractive titles, that you will can go crazy particularly if you hungry. I like Jean Reno in comedian roles and here he is very funny and and as always a great. And also I fell in love French actress Raphaëlle Agogué, she is inexpressible beautiful. "Comme un chef" is very good film for watching with the loved one in the nice romantic evening, it will be raise you mood, without a doubt.
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6/10
Oh, it's all good fun, but no great shakes. Feel good! Go ahead! I did.
secondtake25 February 2015
Le Chef (2012)

Boy are there a lot of these kinds of cooking movies out there, and most of them fall into a familiar pattern. Luckily it's a pattern that works—in that feel good, root for the underdog way.

This is a very lightweight comedy, and the hero is a chef with unusual talents, but also with a lovely fiancée who is getting impatient with his other love—cooking. So he tries to get a real job, and of course that doesn't work and he ends up cooking on the sly. Which leads to a feeling he's "cheating" on his girl, at least mentally, and so on and so on.

The lovely parts of the movie are actually the cooking parts, where you see his talent come alive. There are the usual critics, the mean boss, the underdog friends who are there in a pinch, and so forth. Yes, it's a formula. And it's totally feel good fun.

And there's nothing more to it than that! Bon appetite. And don't confuse this title with "Chef" which is an American twist on the same basic formula.
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7/10
Tasteful comedy
JohnRayPeterson5 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is common fare light comedy about an uncommon subject; well not that uncommon when you search related titles and find a dozen or so. It's not the 2009 'Julie & Julia' for story and performances but it's charming enough if you have a bit of a culinary interest and understand the guarded pride the French have for that art (Oh yes, it's certainly an art).

You'll enjoy Reno's character and his performance but I find that the lesser known Michaël Youn has the better role here and delivers it very well. It may be more accurate to say, as another reviewer pointed out, that Reno and Youn make a nice duet. I'm happy that the movie does not make caricatures of the roles of the two main actors. One more thing, and one that gives it the flavour of a French movie, is that the love interests of both Reno and Youn are extremely attractive women, yummy, if I may say shamelessly.
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Not quite Cordon Bleu but good enough
YohjiArmstrong9 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
THE CHEF continues the French tradition of romanticising the production of food to the nth degree, but with jokes. The plot sees a wannabe chef - who keeps getting fired because people only want chips - get hired by the celeb chef he idolises in order to win around some food critics who hate his traditionalist food because if he loses a star the CEO can fire the celeb chef and replace him with an English (of course) chef who does...molecular cooking (yuck). Unfortunately the lead's pregnant gal wants him to get a proper job outside cooking, whilst the celeb's daughter wishes he would pay more attention to her upcoming thesis defence than his kitchens. It doesn't take a genius to work out what happens next but the result is funny enough (and the film at eighty minutes pithy enough) to sustain the result. The highlight sees the the two chefs try to infiltrate a rival chef's restaurant by posing as a Japanese couple in kimonos...
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An enjoyable comedy
Gordon-1123 January 2013
This film is about a chef who has to do his best and reinvent his culinary style in order to stop his boss from closing his restaurant.

"The Chef" is a light hearted way to look at a chef's struggle to keep his act up. He recruits a young chef to help him out, and much hilarity ensues when personalities and different methods of cooking clash. The film keeps a good pace, and there are plenty of funny scenes to keep viewers entertained. I particularly enjoy the scenes on molecular cuisine experimentation, they are so hilarious! The interpersonal relationships are well handled, particularly between the two chefs and between the young chef and his wife. The portrayal of the young chef's financial problem looks very real, and many viewers will be able to relate to that. I enjoyed watching "The Chef" a lot.
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8/10
a great comedy a great performance by jean reno
playtoyer8 January 2013
this is a great movie,a great comedy with jean reno of top of is game,this movie has a little of everything to have a great time.the association between those 2 actors is one of the best ever,the story is very original and translated a lot of emotions,jean reno is the best actor in the world every scene with him is a delight he is so funny he is hilarious.this movie is perfect to have a great time,it,s deep and clever the should make more of those movies because they are simply great.this is a great french comedy take everybody can love and enjoy.jean reno is amazing is such a great actor and in this movie he is very funny
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9/10
Hilarious!
ChristyLeskovar4 January 2015
This is laugh-out-loud funny. A French movie, with English subtitles, about a young overzealous chef in Paris, who keeps being fired because of his overzealousness. By bizarre happenstance, he becomes known to one of the great chef's of Paris. It pokes fun at molecular cuisine, something he must master or risk losing a star. It's hilarious. Don't know if one has to be a foodie to appreciate it. And on the same weekend I perfected my carrot soup recipe! C'est formidable, mais ce n'est pas molecular, mais c'est un peu foamy. I watched it on Netflix. You'll recognize one of the leads, Jean Reno, from Mission Impossible. The other lead actor I did not recognize, but he was formidable!
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10/10
Best movie I have seen since long time
asntha1 January 2013
Don't listen to some of these stupid critics.watch it your self and prove me wrong if you can.I Totally AGREED WITH THIS !! Of course, don't expect here a masterpiece or any attempt to make an original plot or anything like that : this is a mainstream production, and all we should expect from it, is just to be funny, well-done, and without bad taste ingredients. And so it is. A simple comedy, gentle, with a good rhythm, and nice characters. In fact, not only the main characters are good here, but everybody is, and the supporting actors here have their place, and contribute to our pleasure. Jean Reno and Michaël Youn compose a nice duet. There's not much that I can add. Except that even if everything was easily expect regarding the plot, what is never obvious to expect is that we'd have such a very good time.
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6/10
Mediocre but pleasant
mformoviesandmore11 September 2012
It is a story about events related to a chef, his work, his kitchen and a young associate. There are the usual sorts of back stories, but nothing elaborate.

In fact, "nothing elaborate" is probably a good way to describe this movie.

There are few aspects that had me actually laughing - mostly the scene with the 'Japanese' customers. The rest raised a few smiles along the way. It was a pleasant passing of time.

The best part of the movie was the appearance of an actress named Rebecca Miquel as Carole. Stunning.

If you want to laugh at events in the kitchen you would be much better off watch the TV series Whites.
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6/10
not exactly three stars
dromasca8 March 2015
Did I already say that I love cooking and films about cooking? I probably did. For food lovers talking, reading, watching TV shows and - why not - seeing movies about food and the people behind food just amplifies the pleasure of enjoying good food and enriches the experience. We have been blessed with a few good movies on this topic, some older (who can forget Louis de Funes in L'Aille et la cuisse?) some recently like the American Chef with an almost identical title as the French comedy Le Chef.

We may of course expect a lot from a French film about 'haute cuisine' - the subject should be part of the national expertise after all. Director and script co-writer Daniel Cohen has taken the easy path with this lighthearted comedy about a famous chef (Jean Reno) who is obsessed with keeping his three Michelin stars intact and an unemployed aspirant (Michael Youn) trying to find his way in the world of high-end cooking. Everybody has a good time and especially Reno who abandons for a short while his tough guy mask and lets us know that he owns a carefully suppressed comic talent.

There is some serious background behind the light comedy which should not be omitted. Great chefs nowadays need to fight increased competition from street food and from the modern trends like 'molecular food' (which incidentally I hate as much as the folks who wrote the script of this film). Fighting kitsch or pretentious avant-garde artistic challenge that is not encountered only by artists in cooking but by many other fields. So are the crisis of creativity, the loss of inspiration, the need to change and do something else in certain turning points of lives and careers. None of these subjects are absent but none is explored to deeply either in 'Le Chef'. The result in culinary terms is a 'souffle' - light and pleasant when eaten but not leaving persistent memories after the consumption. I mentioned the American movie 'Chef' which also dealt with a famous cook in some crisis in his life and career turning to street food. Well, the food in the American 'Chef' may not have been as classy as the food in the French 'Le Chef' but the film that resulted was better.
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8/10
Light and fun quintessentially French comedy!
vsks6 December 2014
OK, so the critics didn't much like this frothy French comedy directed by Daniel Cohen, but the French can serve up a blundering wunderkind better than anyone else. Aspiring chef Jacky (Michaël Youn) is called in to save the day for the three-star wonder Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno), who may be on the verge of losing a coveted rating star and his restaurant in the bargain. There's never a moment's doubt how any of the plot lines will resolve, but it's the whole meal that makes this movie fun. It was released summer 2014 in the United States around the same time as the American comedy Chef, which created some box office confusion. Sweet and light as a perfect dessert soufflé, this French offering is a good antidote to, say, the Nightly News. Curmudgeonly Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a mere 48% rating, but audiences liked it more (59%). Said Moira MacDonald in the Seattle Times: Le Chef may not be a masterpiece, but it's nonetheless a treat. Some days, that's just right.
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Jean Reno in great form as the chef who won't compromise.
TxMike24 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I found this movie on Netflix streaming movies. I like Jean Reno in everything I have seen him in and he is great here.

He is famous chef Alexandre Lagarde at a 3-star restaurant. He also does a live cooking show. He is at odds with the owner's son who wants to oust him and seems willing to do anything to have him lose a star as a way to void his contract.

Enter comic actor Michaël Youn as Jacky Bonnot, a bright guy who can't seem to keep a job. When he gets into food service he mistreats the guests who want certain food and wine combinations that Jacky knows are inappropriate. So the best he can do, to try to keep his pregnant girlfriend happy, is get a job as a painter.

The other quality Jacky has is his sense of food combinations and preparation. He is a student of Lagarde's cooking, has all his books, knows all his recipes, even can recall when each live show was telecast. Eventually he and Lagarde team up.

This is a comedy and a very good one. It was French with English subtitles.
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9/10
Subtle, spicy, rich and funny
RodMartinJr21 August 2019
Delightfully interesting, fun, entertaining and engaging. Jean Reno and Michaël Youn deliver the right amount of seriousness and levity to whet your cinematic appetite. I don't know French, but I stopped to savor every morsel of the subtitles in this film of culinary prowess.

Am I high on this film? Perhaps. But this is one of those comfortable masterpieces that I will enjoy seeing again and again, every bit as much as I will enjoy a favorite meal.

The hero's challenge carries just the right amount of gravitus. He wants to be true to his sweetheart, but also to his art. Can he find the right balance between professional and personal life? His journey to find out is well worth exploring.

Bon appetite.
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8/10
Very amusing and well directed movie
tom-zaidman12 May 2013
Have been a fan of Reno since my first movie i saw was Les Visiteurs years ago. In this movie he is not only amusing you have a love/hate relationship with him. Rarely does a whole movie theater laugh for minutes at simple situations very well acted and directed.Reno as a Chef really convinces, and the restaurant scenes, the cars he uses, the kitchen all very well presented. Want to have fun, go see the Chef. You wont regret one minute. There is a young French. Actress that plays the role of the pregnant wife Raphaelle Agogue who is not only very pretty I think she has an important future in French movies. Mr. Yaoun also plays a commendable part as the apprentice Chef. There is a French movie festival fortunately in Caracas And movies like The Chef helps make life here more bearable,without going into details.
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3/10
Get the DVD
praisehim-425-57770118 July 2012
I like Jean Reno and I also like french movies, but this one was a bad evening at the cinema. The acting was lame, the story was predictable, the dialogs terrible. Certainly I did not expect a masterpiece, just funny 90 minutes, but this was one of those movies where you look at your watch to often. You might enjoy this film at home on DVD, but do not spend money on the cinema version. Yes, it is just a comedy, but it is not a very good one. Yes the story is a modern fairy tale, but it is not fun to watch.

I am sure that there will be an American remake of this movie in a few month.
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8/10
A simple delight
mirkobozic13 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"Comme un chef" is a comedy, as luscious as a millefeuille and deliciously airy as a lemon sorbet. With a plot surprisingly alike Pixar's Ratatouille, it's about Jacky, an aspiring cook trying to impress the celebrity chef Alexandre Lagarde, played by Jean Reno, who proves that his range encompasses comedy as well. It's not a very demanding entertainment, and Jacky gets his happy ending, both with his fiance and his boss, but movies like these are feel-good stories laced by culinary delights which enhance their appeal, like Lasse Hallström's Chocolat. French cuisine is famous for its whimsy as it is already, and though Comme un chef doesn't really live up to the level of Big Night, it's a time well spent.
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8/10
Nice movie
sam-01928347220 January 2019
Light hearted, positive and funny movie. Recommended!
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8/10
Delightful
sergelamarche31 May 2018
I was not expecting anything more than smiles, but midway I could not repress my laugh. The story is not following the straight path and is hilarious enough with some bon mots here and there. A TV comedy that holds on 6 years after release.
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8/10
I saw the ending coming, but I loved it just the same
rochesternypizzaguy12 January 2018
About halfway through the movie, I could see how it was going to end. But that didn't spoil it, thanks to the well-written situational comedy and good performances. It also occurred to me that as good as this was, it could not effectively be remade in the U.S. The stereotypical French obsession with food lies at the heart of this film, but it translated well. Make a batch of crepes, or get a couple of baguettes and a bottle of vin rouge, and enjoy.
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could be better if the casting job did right
rightwingisevil23 May 2013
to sign up a more likable and more possible actor to play the young chef role. this actor simply could not deliver a likable or even believable character. he just looked like a clown, a way-too-ordinary nobody, like Roberto Benigni or Woody Allen, only the movies could allow them to have beautiful women fallen for them. time and again, this nobody-like character in this movie, had a much taller and very beautiful woman being his lover and even carried his child. the screenplay was not good enough to script better dialog. there were so many sections the dialogs were just vague and messy. the arrangement of the characters were also not well developed. it's definitely a comedy, but i never got a chance to smile, albeit laugh for the whole movie. i just felt very awkward and rushed all the time. the scenarios were just too weak. the restaurants and the kitchen scenes also looked vague and unconvincing. this is a barely watchable french movie, definitely not worth blindly copying or adapting by Hollywood again.
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1/10
Worst food movie ever
funambuline27 December 2016
I love movies about food and gastronomy. This one is perhaps the worst I have ever seen.

The script is absolutely stupid and totally not realistic, the dialogues are really bad, the "cuisine" depicted in the movie is a kind of generic "french cuisine" that doesn't exist. During each sequence filmed in a kitchen or with people eating or tasting food there are huge mistakes that anyone who knows how to cook an egg can spot.

For the rest: no visual interest, bad actors, bad editing, nothing to save this story.

If you want to see a nice french food movie, better see "la Cuisine Américaine"... (which is kind of the original story anyway, but a way better movie), or "Haute Cuisine". Or any of the more than 100 movies in my public list "food movies" will do instead of this one.
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