August 31, 2008

Le Grand Chef: Cooking Up Something Special

Is there a dependable recipe for making a comedy? Le Grand Chef will have you thinking so. Director Jeon Yun-su's feel-good hit sticks to a tried-and-true formula that's served everyone from Frank Capra to Ron Howard. And it's so simple! Gather together some beloved types: the loyal grandson (Kim Kang-woo), a saucy ingenue (Lee Ha-na), the amoral rival (Lim Won-hie) dating back to childhood. Toss them into an equally classic story about a working class Joe who must compete with a citified poseur for the title of greatest chef. Spice it up with wacky subplots involving a charcoal-maker on death row, a cow that cries, the death of a one-armed royal chef, and the search for the perfect Ramen. Stir. Serve warm...and fuzzy. Since this is a Korean romantic comedy, there's no shortage of sugary moments. By the same token, there are episodes of outright violence as well as slapstick. (The uninterrupted gutting and skinning of a live blowfish is shown not once but twice up close.) Throughout, cooking is presented via split screens as if it were the national sport of Korea. Maybe it is. Who wouldn't vote for BBQ over Tae Kwon Do? Only fools who don't find Le Grand Chef deletectable.


  1. The crying cow still cracks me up.

  2. I really enjoyed this movie. After a few year dearth of Korean movies in my life, I decided to watch this. I was interested because antique bakery, although a generally different story altogether, combined cooking and comedy very well. I was in the mood for something similar, and albeit not exactly the same, it was very fun nonetheless.
    The subplots were also wacky, but that's okay!