Sony Pictures Animation
Written & Directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller/Produced by Pam Marsden/Music by Mark Mothersbaugh/Based on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi & Ron Barrett
Ever since he was little, Flint has known he was destined to be a great inventor, but on an island where everything revolves around sardine fishing, there’s little call for great inventors. Matter of fact, their work tends to be regarded rather poorly. But one day, Flint creates a machine that will revolutionize life in his town–a machine that rains food from the sky. (Personally, ick, but the citizens loved it–way better than sardines, anyhow.) Flint becomes an overnight phenomenon, gaining the attention of the world, and perhaps more importantly, of the adorably geeky meteorologist Sam Sparks. Inevitably, the invention goes haywire when people’s greed gets out of control, and together this awkward couple set out to stop it before the world is destroyed.
So . . . Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is definitely a cute story–along the lines of a Pixar movie, sort of. It’s essentially a tall tale, based on a kids’ picture book. I haven’t read the original, but I feel like with the movie they tried too hard to make it meaningful, if that makes any sense. What I mean is that in the midst of all the craziness and humor, they’re sticking all this stuff about parent-child relationships that’s actually pretty serious and it kind of throws the balance of the story for me. Otherwise, it’s pretty over-the-top crazy tall tale with an obvious commentary on greediness and overeating. The romance part is also kind of out of place, but it’s nice still, geeky and cute. As for the art style, it’s the sort of CG that reminds me of Despicable Me, detailed yet stylized. I guess on the whole, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs fell sort of flat for me–like all the pieces just didn’t work well together and it was too excessive–but I think it would be fun for kids and probably for a lot of adults too.