First, I want to advise that Tom Wilkinson is not in this pitcher. Operating on my heretofore sensible belief that Tom Wilkinson is in all pitchers, I find myself at a loss for words. Or at least not quite ready to shape these remarks into my usual formidable prose. Nevertheless, time-sensitivity prompts me to put these rough notes out immediately: who knows — you may be desperately searching for a pitcher to avoid seeing even as I type.
Not that Chef was really my first choice, either. The Lesser Half wanted to get out of the country pile last night. Yet without a single Colin Firth or Hugh Grant to hand, we were forced to roll the dice. “OK, Riot Grrrrl,” I proclaimed amiably, “Chef it is. Perhaps it’s some consolation that Tom Wilkinson is in it.” (Needless to say, I hadn’t yet checked the cast list.)
Tom Wilkinson or not, there’s no question but that we’ve got Oscar material here. This one is right up there with fine previous winners like Forrest Gump and Driving Miss Daisy, of which indeed Chef seems to be a fairly reverent mash-up.
So, pending my deeper analysis and fully annealed prose, let me just lay out — bullet point by bullet point — what I picked up from Chef.
• Chubby clueless white mouth-breathers with plumber’s crack hang tight with rapido-talking Hispanic sidekicks who are loyal, perpetually upbeat, and always ready to boogie.
• Nor should that seem surprising since Chubby clueless white mouth-breathers with plumber’s crack also marry wealthy botoxed Hispanic socialites with whom (after dissolving said marriages) they remain friendly even to the point of companionable transcontinental air travel, not to say brunching with ex-in laws, who happen to be, if I may point out the glaringly obvious, Cuban. (Perhaps in some parallel cinema universe in-laws originate from places other than Cuba.)
• Really cool people — who, like rapido-talking Hispanic sidekicks, are always ready to boogie — love to patronize food trucks while cruising authentic neighborhoods to which mere tourists would never venture, such as South Beach, the French Quarter, Sixth Street in Austin, and Melrose Avenue. (Steady your nerves for the sequel, which will tread dangerously into Piazza San Marco and Fisherman’s Wharf!)
• Filthy, broken-down, exhaust-belching food trucks driven straight from the wrecking yard can be cleaned, refitted, painted, and freshly chromed in one afternoon — as long as your rapdio-talking Hispanic sidekick delivers an inspired call-to-arms in full-barrio idiom to Hispanic laborers loafing during their ethnically correct siesta. (No way José am I going to broach the esé-word.)
• Erstwhile chubby clueless white mouth-breathing master chefs with plumber’s crack who reinvent themselves as chubby clueless white mouth-breathing food truck line-cooks with plumber’s crack love to chill on the roof of their food truck, waxing poetic with their nine-year-old son of a mild vermillion dusk, even though there doesn’t seem to be any obvious means — such as a ladder or a convenient tree-limb — by which to have climbed up there.
• Gourmet food is anything that will fit into a deep frier.
• There are just two females in the entire world. They are both six feet tall. They both weigh one-hundred-and-seven pounds. And they both have hearts of gold.