2014, USA, 114 min.
Middle-aged chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is stuck in a simmer. He’s divorced and 3,000 miles away from his 10-year-old son, and the owner of his fancy California restaurant (Dustin Hoffman) stifles his ideas over the old favorites. When a demanding and influential food blogger (Oliver Platt) roasts Carl for his uninspired fare, the chef explodes at the writer in person and on Twitter. An unraveled, now unemployed Carl accepts his ex-wife’s suggestion that he watch their son (Emjay Anthony) for her in Miami, his hometown. The thinly veiled ruse for father-son time energizes Carl. He buys a food truck, renovates it and embarks on a cross-country trek—Carl cooks, the boy handles the social media. Viewers reap the results. This buoyant comedy-drama not only examines the joy that can result when children and parents share a passion, it’s a convincing reminder that it’s never too late to discover your passion. Written and directed by Favreau, who’s known mostly for blockbuster fare (Iron Man, The Jungle Book).