As for “Chef,” it has its problems as a film, but it definitely lives up to the chef hype. We usually never talk in movies, and still Bob had to lean over and say: “This food looks like real food.” Later, I said that just reflected all the other social media themes in the script — people now know what real food looks like thanks to all those much-maligned Instagrams and Tweets and Vines: No stylist involved. Otherwise, my favorite line was “the nanny can’t get on the airplane.” But my second favorite was “what if I have to poop?” Because that subtly cut to the real issue with rolling kitchens. Where do the food handlers do their business? A whiz behind a wheel is one thing. There really had better not be Adult Pampers stocked along with the rubber gloves.
Also, too, a little trip to the Women room at the bag-checking theater we braved reminded me of an observation by a friend while we were all in Paris many years ago on what I called a corporate boondoggle and they knew as serious hard work: “It smells different in the bathroom here.” And what was emanating from the stall next to me literally brought that home. American poop stinks; there’s a sweetly sickening aspect to it. You won’t smell that in Italy, or Turkey, or Spain etc., most likely because denizens don’t live on processed crap. My one trip to India was a nasal revelation. I’d gone there with a photographer friend’s tale echoing through my cranial sieve, about shooting the gorgeousness of the Taj Mahal while standing in what he soon realized was ankle-deep “human waste.” But all I smelled for two weeks from Kolkata to Bangalore to Mumbai was the opposite of GI/GO. It was spices in, almost perfume out.