Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

In the first two minutes of CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS I found myself getting goose bumps and laughing out loud. For a movie I had little to no interest in watching, I was immediately impressed. But I couldn’t help but wonder if the movie could possibly keep the momentum going. After all, this is an animated film and I didn’t see Pixar’s name anywhere on the poster. Surprisingly, the film not only managed to keep the momentum, but even managed to make me laugh harder at various moments and develop the characters in a Pixar-ian fashion that makes this an outstanding film.

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Flint Lockwood is the town joke. He’s an amateur inventor that is known more for his failures and near-misses than for his originality and brilliance. Determined to prove the world wrong, he sets out to create a machine that turns water into food. By accident, his machine actually works and ends up getting shot into a rain cloud, which inevitably makes it rain food. When the little town gets worldwide attention, the pressure is on for Flint to keep the food coming at all costs. Through it all, Flint has to come to terms with his new found fame, the girl of his dreams, the disappointment of his father and of course…the destruction that comes from his invention.

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Before I even mention the deeper meanings of the film and the greater message it sends to kids, I’ll mention this; it’s really, really funny. The amount of humor and laugh out loud moments took me completely by surprise. Whether it was the “talking” monkey or the “ratbirds”, the hilarious moments were used wonderfully throughout the film and at opportune times. At times, sidekick characters that are there solely for comedic purposes can be irritating. But I loved all of the characters and looked forward to the next joke.

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The film was not without its faults. I didn’t like Bill Hader doing the voice of Flint. I like Bill Hader as an actor and his work on SNL, I just thought he sounded a little old to voice Flint. Flint needed someone younger and more enthusiastic to better show his naivety and innocence. The best voice acting in the film is from the incomparable Mr. T, who basically played himself, but to great comedic effect. It also went a little over the top towards the end, but it was never grounded in reality in the first place, so it was a little easier for us to buy into it.

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Even with the few drawbacks, I was a little enamored with this film, mainly because it caught me off guard. I’m not familiar at all with the book and to be honest, I didn’t even know about the book until the movie came out. But for 90 minutes, I was really into the movie and found myself laughing continuously. Whatever age you are, I don’t think you can go wrong with this film.


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