Document Image

Sex

Language

Violence

OVERALL RATING
AGE RATING

Movie Review

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Christopher Gildemeister

Release Date: 9/18/2009

MPAA Rating: PG : Description: Brief mild language

As a boy, Flint Lockwood dreamed of being a great inventor. Flint’s father just wants Flint to join him working in the family bait shop, but Flint pursues his dream and invents a machine that can make any kind of food rain from the sky. Suddenly, Flint is popular and the hero of his town – until the machine goes out of control…

 

There is little to concern parents in this movie. The young child Flint is teased by classmates who call him a “nerd,” “freak” and similar epithets. Once in the movie a character states the town is a “hellhole,” and a couple characters say “crap.” A baby upchucks (though the vomit is not explicitly seen), a character states that Flint’s pet monkey is “throwing chocolate ice cream” until they realize the truth, and the elevator to Flint’s laboratory is a porta-potty. Flint has frequent run-ins with a town security officer (voiced by Mr. T), who repeatedly cuffs Flint around and performs zany martial arts-style moves. Large amounts of property are damaged by the food falling from the sky, and late in the movie there are some fantasy elements as Flint, his girlfriend Sam and other characters fly into the sky to try to shut off the machine. The falling food and crashing impacts also lead to a large amount of slapstick humor. The town’s former idol “Baby Brent” (now an adult man) demonstrates a penchant for stripping off his clothes and standing in a diaper, and is frequently surrounded by women in skimpy clothing; and Flint and Sam share several chaste kisses throughout the film.

 

In addition to demonstrating a sprightly and offbeat sense of humor, there are many positive messages in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Flint and his father have a realistically strained relationship and difficulty communicating, with Flint a dreamer and his father solidly practical; but they finally discover that they love and respect one another, and the father confesses his pride in Flint’s accomplishments. Flint’s girlfriend Sam begins the movie as an apparently empty-headed TV weathergirl, but later confesses that as a child she too loved science; but in order to be popular and accepted, she has learned to stress her appearance and fake ignorance. The awkward Flint tells Sam that they do not have to hide their true self, and that they should embrace her intelligence and reclaim her dreams, which she does – a message that will not be lost on the girls in the audience. (Amusingly, Flint’s love for the “science nerd” Sam is so great that he finds her more attractive after she sheds her glamorous TV persona, puts her hair in a bun and wears glasses.) In return, Sam helps Flint become more confident and helps smooth over the relationship between Flint and his father. The town’s obnoxious mayor slyly mocks Flint’s (and many kids’) desire for popularity, saying “Who needs the approval one family member when you can have it from millions of acquaintances?” Finally, the disaster that befalls the town sends a not-so-subtle message that too much junk food is NOT a good idea!

 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a charming, quirky and whimsical fantasy-style story filled with action, laughs and many good messages, which is sure to amuse and delight children and parents alike.