Fast-paced and amiable but way too broad, Daniel Cohen’s “Le Chef” (2012) throws together star chef Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno), a brand name with his own restaurant who can’t get along with his investors, with a younger, self- taught chef Jacky (Michaël Youn), who leans heavily on the chemistry set. Lightly sauced reflections on French cuisine bounce off implausible notions of human behavior and far too much irksome “cuteness.” Or maybe that’s what makes “Le Chef” so French? I’d love just about any truly toothsome comedy about French cuisine that convinces, but in this case, I’ll go American and say Jon Favreau’s “Chef” does a far finer job with everything on the menu. With Raphaëlle Agogue, Julien Boisselier. 85m. (Ray Pride)
“Le Chef” opens Friday, July 18 at River East.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.