Saturday, 19 September 2020
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
cloudymeatballsposterPerhaps best summed up with this observation: Despite being exhausted, having a headache and a major case of the “foot fidgets”, I did not check my watch once while watching this movie. I did not snore into my popcorn, get up to use the washroom, or stare at the back of the chair in front of me wondering how long that gum had been there. And, although I was watching a movie about humongous snack food falling from the sky for 90-minutes, I didn’t even get up to go to the concession.

What I DID do was laugh my ass off. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs didn’t really look all that interesting to me in the previews. If anything I thought it would completely gross me out to see hundreds of hamburgers slapping to the pavement in 3D, but instead it left me with a wicked craving for McDonalds. This movie surpassed my expectations by far and had the audience giggling non-stop.

The story sounds kind of lame – at least it did to me before I saw it. In the town of Swallow Falls (which is hidden under the “A” in “Atlantic” on the map), a young inventor named Flint is the brunt of everyone’s jokes for being different. More than anything he wants to be a famous inventor and create something the town will love, but instead everyone just thinks he’s a giant screw up. He invents spray-on shoes, monkey voice translators, and of course rat-birds!

cloudymeatballspic2When the towns booming sardine industry bites the dust (because everyone realizes they are gross), Flint decides to save the day by creating a machine that can turn water into food. Any food imagineable! Things go right, and then horribly wrong as the machine starts mutating the food into super-sized portions. Pretty soon the greedy townsfolk are swimming in nacho cheese and pancakes are flattening the schools. It’s up to Flint to save the town from his own invention.

Of course he’s not alone. The movie has a great supporting cast of characters, and character voices, to brag about. SNL’er Bill Hader does the voice of Flint, and his gal pal Sam Sparks is a weather girl voiced by Anna Faris. It’s not very often in a movie that the guy finds the girl more attractive WITH glasses and a ponytail, but in this case Flint totally falls for Sam’s intelligence. Filling out the rest of the cast is James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T and Neil Patrick Harris himself as “Steve the Monkey”. I wanted to take Steve home with me. He provides some of the funniest scenes in the movie.

cloudymeatballspic1It’s hard to believe that an animated film of this quality, with this big of a budget and an all-star cast would be a first time feature for the directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. They are taking on the heavy hitters at Pixar and I have to admit they have challenged with style and substance. No one will top Pixar for quality, classic CG animation, but Lord and Miller did pretty well for their first time out.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is pure fun. Be warned, you may be stopping off for some fast food on your way home!