Recently both of my daughters said to me, “You know what’s a really good movie, even though you wouldn’t think it would be? CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS.” And now that I’ve seen it, I have to say that they’re right.
It’s the story of young, would-be inventor Flint Lockwood, who, after coming up with a series of inventions that don’t work out that well (the Monkey Thought Translator, for one), builds a machine that transforms the genetic material of ordinary water, turning it into food. At first this seems to be a great boon to humanity, until the machine (which has been shot accidentally into the stratosphere) spirals out of control and begins producing more and more food, all of it bigger than normal and increasing in size all the time, which leaves the world in danger of being destroyed by giant meatballs and hot dogs.
Yes, of course that’s pretty silly, which is probably what led Hollywood to market this as a kid’s movie, and there’s no doubt most kids would find it funny. But at the same time, it’s full of pop culture references and eventually becomes a fairly sharp-edged satire of scientific disaster movies such as THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and 2012. (I realize that referring to those movies as “scientific” is being generous. In that regard, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS isn’t much more far-fetched.)
I’m still not all that fond of modern computer animation, but this movie is well-acted and has a funny script with some nice plot twists. I liked it a lot and think it’s well worth watching.