In this French culinary comedy, the jokes are often corny and the plot twists as predictable as our hero’s classic menu. Chef Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno) is on the brink of losing his third precious Michelin star because he won’t bend to the trend of molecular gastronomy. (The new owners of his bistro demand it.) Meanwhile, Jacky Bonnot (Michael Youn) is a goofy aspiring chef and longtime Lagarde devotee who can’t seem to catch a break—until of course the hallowed chef “discovers” him.
Together Jacky and Alexandre hatch a plan to save Cargo Lagarde. That familiar narrative—protege turns hero—has become a cliche in food films, but the subplots here make it slightly less derivative, as both men tend to their own botched personal relationships. Despite the flaws of Le Chef, directed by Daniel Cohen, foodies will still love its references to famous French dishes and poking fun at molecular cuisine—even though, like that style of cooking, Le Chef also borders on the absurd.
Opens Fri., June 27 at Harvard Exit. Rated PG-13. 84 minutes.