Meet Flint Lockwood – eccentric inventor who never really lived up to his dreams of creating something supercool. But then, Flint’s the ultimate outsider – a geek living in a remote island whose economy revolves around sardines.
Things take a sour turn for the islanders when the rest of the world wakes up to the fact that “sardines are kinda gross”. The worldwide market for the fishy goods drops off overnight and the island faces certain bankruptcy. Enter the ambitious Flint with a plan to create real food out of rainwater. His initial experiment is a bit of a disaster, but shows promise.
So, what do you do when you need to supercharge your fantastic famine-quenching invention? You hook it up to the local power station, of course. This part of the movie plays out hilariously, with Flint trying to elude the local policeman Earl (voiced to great effect by Mr T) and inadvertently shooting his machine into the stratosphere. Within minutes, the town receives the first recorded rainfall of hamburgers in history.
So, Flint becomes the town hero, giving them something other than sardines to eat and boosting the tourist industry on the island. Until the mayor of Swallow Falls gets greedy for more and bigger meals. Bruce Campbell puts in a great appearance as the greedy, ever-fatter mayor, who manipulates Flint into producing more and more food, despite a huge mountain of waste building up on the other side of the island.
Without recapping the entire movie here, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs managed to entertain the group of under-10’s we brought with us to the cinema. The character of Flint was wacky enough to keep everybody glued to their seats, and I know most of us walked out of the movie repeating “STEVE” in a robotic voice, the the monkey thought translator was clearly a popular invention!
As an adult, you could play a game of ‘spot the lessons learned’ quite easily:
- Don’t be afraid of who you are – or “the geek shall inherit the Earth”
- Don’t coast by on past glories (referring to nappy-wearing freakbag ‘Baby’ Brent)
- Don’t be afraid to speak about your feelings (Flint’s dad)
- Greed is bad (Mayor of Swallow Falls)
- Indestructible spray-on shoes can come in handy when you’re in a tight spot.
However, the film at all points manages to stay light-hearted and not get bogged down in the moral lessons. Flint is brilliantly madcap – I especially loved the sound effects/running commentary he made whenever he was busy inventing.
I wasn’t so impressed with the romantic subplot between Flint and Sam Sparks, the weathergirl. Did we really need it? It was a tiny bit yawnsome. I found the small-town douchebag Baby Brent far more entertaining – reminiscent of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s character in Along Came Polly, the child star who really never achieved anything in their post-fame years. Baby Brent is that type of character who fights past his limited intellect to finally redeem himself and become a minor hero in the piece.
Definitely a good movie for all the family, it gave us some much-needed chuckles on a Saturday afternoon! Go and see it.