Film #158: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

Directors: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Language: English with a bit of German, French
Length: 90 minutes
Watched on: 31 July 2015

I actually bought this a few months ago, or even last year, when I was visiting my boyfriend’s outside Tokyo; I picked it up, like Team America, in the bargain bucket of an electronics store. It took me a lot longer to get around to this one, though. I finally took the opportunity to put it on one summer’s evening when a friend was over for drinks.

Let’s just get one thing straight: the science in this movie is basically atrocious. The main character invents a way to spontaneously turn water into all kinds of food (never mind the astronomical amounts of energy this would require in real life), and it gets loose in the atmosphere, leading to hamburgers and pizzas falling from the sky. Basically it’s ludicrous, but this isn’t the point of the movie, and not something that would stop me enjoying it.

The movie sets up a few running gags early on, and is very good at following them up later in the movie – such as the main character’s spray on boots, which he can literally never take off. It rewards careful viewers with sly asides like this throughout the action. At the same time, the humour doesn’t feel forced, and it was satisfying to laugh in all the right places.

Aside from that, the main character’s family arc was pretty standard – he has to redeem himself to his father, to whom he’s a disappointment, and who is a stoic fisherman to his aspiring inventor character. There’s also a tepid romance subplot with the nerdy-but-hot weatherwoman who comes to their small island to report on the mysterious weather. Sound familiar yet? It does to me – I think this kind of plot is overdone.

It’s also worth noting at this point that the side characters were all very imaginative and flamboyant, and the individual quirks of the main characters were also unique, but I’m mainly talking about the way they interact in the main subplots.

So it’s not a work of genius, but it’s funny, and it’s a good way to pass a couple of hours. The subplots and main characters aren’t particularly imaginative, but that doesn’t matter, ultimately. I’d recommend it.

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