Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
|Featuring:||Voices of Anna Faris, Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell, Lauren Graham, Andy Samberg, James Caan, Benjamin Bratt, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Mr. T, Will Forte, Laraine Newman, Mona Marshall, Al Roker, Sherry Lynn, Marsha Clark, Mickie McGowan|
|Producer:||Sony Pictures Animation, Chris Juen, Pam Marsden, Andrea Miloro|
|Distributor:||Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation|
Sequel to this movie: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” (2013)
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is loosely based on the children’s book written in 1978 by Judi Barrett. The movie begins with a young Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader) presenting his new invention to his class. Of course, everyone can use shoes that don’t tie. Flint demonstrates his spray-on shoes, and immediately one classmate begins to make fun of him because you can’t take the shoes off. Flint goes home humiliated and defeated. His mother, who believes in him, comes into his room and gives him an “official lab coat” and a speech about how she believes in him.
The movie then takes us to present day with a grown up Flint. He still lives in the town of Swallow Falls with his dad, Tim (James Caan). He still is trying to invent something. His inventions have been one failure after another. His mother has died 10 years earlier, and now he has no one who believes in him. To make things worse, nobody wants to buy what the town supplies—sardines. The residents are forced to eat sardines for breakfast. lunch, and dinner. Flint wants to save his town with his new invention—the machine which will turn water into food—if he can only get it to work. While testing the machine, he destroys the new “theme park”—Sardine World. Flint, also, ruins the career of the new reporter sent to cover the unveiling of Sardine World, Sam Sparks (Anna Faris).
While Flint hides from the town, Sam finds him. As they talk, cheeseburgers begin to rain from the sky. Flint finally has an invention that works. He becomes the new town hero, until the weather takes a turn for the worse.
There are very few objectionable moments in this film. In fact, nothing in this film bothered me, partly because they are so dwarfed by the awesomeness of the film process itself; however, I will list some of the items that could be a problem for some.
Violence: Flint is made fun of throughout the movie. There is a policeman (Earl played by Mr. T.) in the film that punches, slaps and uses excessive force. The monkey throws balls of feces instead of ice cream. Flint throws ice cream snowballs hard; he also gets kicked in the face. When giant food begins to fall from the sky, looting starts, and a few people are shown stealing televisions from a store. Giant gummy bears are shown on the wing of a plane, creating havoc (similar to a scene from “The Twilight Zone”). The giant food begins to attack the humans trying to turn off the food machine.
Nudity: Baby Brent was the poster child for the sardine industry. All grown up, Baby Brent continues to act as the town celebrity and removes his clothes at a ribbon cutting. He is shown with just a diaper on. He runs around the town with just the diaper on. Keep in mind, this is a cartoon. I just mention it to make everyone aware.
Sex: Very clean film. Flint tries to kiss Sam. Sam tries to kiss Flint. At the end of the movie, they finally kiss. Statues fashioned out of jello show a topless Venus de Milo (brief scene and barely noticeable). Earl flexes his buttocks.
Language: At one point someone says “what the” and then stops. The Mayor says something about being stuck in this h---hole of a town.
Diners are shown with glasses of wine.
A comment about “manna from heaven” is made when food begins to come from the sky.
As I watched this movie, I felt that there were many lessons. One was to be yourself. Sam hides who she really is because she wants to be liked and popular. Flint tries to win the town’s approval and, instead of shutting off the machine, allows it to continue making food, because he wants to be liked. He learns that doing the right thing is better than approval of others. Another lesson is perseverance. Flint is persistent in his attempts at being an inventor.
There is also a lesson about getting too much of anything. Having everything you want is not always a good thing. As you watch this movie, you watch the mayor gain weight. You also see the townspeople become very demanding. Too much of a good thing is still too much.
Finally, there was the lesson of love and acceptance. Flint always had the support and love of his mother, but he desperately wanted to know his father loved him. At the end of the movie, he finds that his father has always loved him; his dad just didn’t know how to express that. As I watched that scene, I remembered someone once telling me (as an adult) that every time she called home, her mom would say she loved and missed her, but her dad always asked her about her car. That was his way of saying, I love and care about you. My dad did a little wink. Just as we want to be loved by our parent’s, they need us to understand and accept their limitations. This movie modeled both of those aspects of the parent-child relationship.
Faith is modeled in this movie. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commanded for.” Flint’s mother had faith in him, even though she died before she witnessed his greatest accomplishments. Flint continued to press on because of the faith his mother showed him. I certainly hope I can model the faith in salvation in Jesus Christ to my children in such a way, that even after I am gone they will remember that faith and believe themselves.
I recommend this movie. Today, I viewed it with my husband and children, ranging in age from 19 to 4. We all enjoyed this movie in 3D. I have been reluctant to go to a 3-D movie because of my son who is almost 5. However, he enjoyed this movie and didn’t remove his glasses once. My 6 year old turned to me during the credits and said, “I really liked this movie”. I was thinking the same thing.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.