I don’t know whether to call Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ridiculous inspiration or inspired ridiculousness. The main concept is so simple—food raining from the sky—but the writers milk every imaginative variance on this idea such that the total film exceeds the sum of its parts. Yes, we’ve seen some of this before (the misunderstanding parent and the he’s-dead-no-wait-never-mind cliché), but the directing and writing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller give the material the same energetically original edge that made the recent Lego Movie a much bigger success than it might have been. Where else can you hear the matter-of-fact usage of the term amuse-bouche, along with a joke questioning its meaning?
The animation is impressive, though highly cartoony at times, and the voices are well-cast, including Bill Hader as Flint Lockwood, Anna Faris as Sam Sparks, James Caan as Flint’s dad, and the incomparable Mr. T as the over-zealous policeman Earl, along with Bruce Campbell, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, and Neil Patrick Harris in supporting roles.
Yet the comedy is the star, and the jokes fly out at an incredible rate. Sometimes they are so quick that a blink will cause you to miss something; other times, it takes half the movie for a funny line to pay off. Though some of the humor is awkward and obnoxious, particularly in the character of former-baby Brent, the multitude of sight gags, food puns, and laugh-out-loud moments, along with the touching culmination of Flint’s relationship with his dad, makes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs a film worth seeing again and again.Best line (oh, to have to choose): (Manny, the deadpan cameraman/doctor) “You are going to need a co-pilot.” (Sam) “You’re a pilot, too?” (Manny) “Yes. I am also a particle physicist.” (Sam) “Really?” (Manny) “No, that was a joke. I am also a comedian.”
Artistry: 2 Characters/Actors: 5 Entertainment: 8 Visual Effects: 7 Originality: 9 Watchability: 8 Other (some awkward parts): -2 TOTAL: 37 out of 60
Next: #246 – Lady and the Tramp
© 2014 S. G. Liput
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