Forget Jon Favreau's other movies as actor, writer, or producer. Forget "Iron Man" and "Swingers." Just enjoy "Chef." It's relatively predictable, plows no new acreage, and is so foodie that it's pornie, but it's a delight, too, with Favreau just dandy as writer, director and actor.
This movie should be so much better. It squats solidly at the mediocre level, but, mercy! It should have been so much better, what with the proven actor, Dustin Hoffman, serving as director, and a roster of stars that should have sparkled all over the place.
At a significant moment in director Richard J. Lewis' film Barney's Version, the love of Barney Panofsky's life, Miriam Grant, says to him, "Lives are made up of little things." Barney's life, as captured here, fits this apt description as well. However, it delivers its array of details in a scattergun fashion with shifting tones and styles.