WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Directors)
Basic Plot: Flint Lockwood has always been known as nothing more than a nerdy loser. After years of failure, he finally invents a machine that can make it rain food and hopes to finally make everyone he knows proud of him.
Plot: 2/5 Below Average: One word comes to my mind whenever I think of this movie’s plot. It is the word cliché. Cliché features are all throughout the plot and characters. The cast includes a misunderstood child, a dead mom, an awkward dad, an evil shoulder devil role model, a guy who thinks he has it all, and a love interest that is understands him and is “different.” Speeches and the story are things that are commonly seen in children’s movies.
Graphics: 3/5 Average: The graphics were plain, having some nice details here and there in the hair, light, and clouds. It leaned more to a cartoon style than a realistic one, as people had completely unrealistic body proportions.
Moral: 2½/5 Good and Bad Morals: The moral had a very “Curious, Curious George” feel, (see Dangerous Ideas above), but I think it had some deeper positive moral aspects as well. The CCG feel came in from the main plot story. The protagonist feels like a failure, no one understands him, he messes up, becomes a success, messes up again, and then fixes everything. This is a common plot theme in children’s movies that seems to show that you can mess things up, but once you fix it, you become a hero by stopping the problem that you caused. It’s like hiring a bunch of bank robbers than stopping them. I understand redemption and changes of heart, but I also think that there is a difference between redemption and avoiding consequences.
Positive moral aspects included understanding, as Flint and his dad slowly learn to understand each other more. There was also the positive moral that we should be careful who we listen too. Flint has two people influencing his life, his dad and the mayor. One says he should do the right thing, even if Flint must sacrifice his fame, and the other tells Flint to do what may be wrong because it will make Flint feel more loved and accepted. Flint chooses the wrong influence and pays (sort of) and fixes the problem. We can see that it is important to follow those that truly care about us and tell us to do what’s right rather than to do listen to people who only say what we want to hear.
Overall: 2½/5 Below Average: Overall, the movie can be concluded with the word cliché. The children’s book is a thousand times better than the movie. The moral is ok, but nothing to jump up and down about.
Official Rating: PG
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Some Inappropriate Content: Flint makes statues of David and ML out of Jell-O, one of them showing the woman shirtless, and the other not really showing any nudity, but possibly doing so indirectly. There are pictures of shirtless men wearing bibs in the background once. There is a close-up of a man clenching his butt. A man several times in the movie wears nothing but a diaper, but he eventually stops that by the end. A man is shown in a bathtub, though no nudity is shown. Two modestly dressed women hang on a famous man. Flint and a girl kiss once, and attempt to kiss a few times.
Violence: 2/5 Brief Light Cartoon Violence: There are several explosions and crashes throughout the movie in cartoon style, as well as people bumping into each other. A banana falls on painting of a woman. A man violently throws snowballs at various people. A monkey decapitates gummy bears and rips out one bear’s heart. A man beats up food that attacks him with punches and kicks. A man gets hit in the eye with both a foot and food, at different times. A man says he will slap a man and then he does. A man tackles people several times throughout the movie. Food attacks people. A man’s mustache is ripped off by a monkey, and the monkey reaches for several people’s mustaches, though he fails to rip them off.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 Slight Misuse: “Gosh” is used at least twice, and “geez” is used at least once.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1½/5 Light Disturbing Content: A man is eaten whole by a roast chicken, but he doesn’t die and ends up killing the chicken. A boy ends up in “a food coma” from eating too much candy, and mentions that his “tummy hurts.” Flint’s mom is mentioned to have died in the past. A girl swells up after being pricked by peanut brittle. A man gets shocked by electricity. A man asks if snowball fights are “to the death.” A man punches into his hand when he is angry. Characters run and scream from giant food. Mutant ratbirds attack people and carry off a child. The child is told to “play dead.”
Religious Issues: ½/5 Brief Appearance: Men are seen wearing clothing from the Jewish and Muslim cultures.
Magic: 0/5 None
Others: There is a poster with an electric guitar. People are shown drinking wine in a restaurant. The credits contain rock music.
Overall: Overall, the brief naked statue appearances were probably the worst thing in the movie and possibly some of the light violence. If one wanted to watch it, I would recommend eight and older.