Sunday, September 20, 2009

We Go Together, In All Kinds Of Weather

Yesterday afternoon we went to see Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Jarrah had been asking to see it for, lo, these many six months, which was inconvenient since it only came to theaters two days ago. First, we went to the "early childhood" Rosh Hashanah service at her preschool, where about two hundred adults and twice that many children were jammed steerage-style into a room whose A/C was rattling its death knell. Tiny, grasping hands reached for me from every side, and I started to get a bit woozy. Maybe it was my wooziness and not a slightly un-High Holy Day-excess of cleavage that was causing the seemingly 16-year-old cantor guitarist to bore his eyes into my personage and then dart them away guiltily when I felt him looking.

So we were off to the movies, joined by Robyn and her boys, and all should have been well. Healthy A/C, stadium seats, Red Vines, and a hot pretzel with about a gallon of mustard--tra la! The movie, if you haven't heard, is about a boy named Flint Lockwood who lives on an island and invents a lot of stuff that doesn't quite work, like spray-on shoes that never come off, and "rat birds" resembling Remy with a parrot transfusion (Jarrah's favorite.) His father, whose gruff fortitude and inability to express himself is geniusly depicted with a huge fuzzy eyebrow and no eyes at all (except in moments of extreme trial, like attempting to send a computer file to his son's cell phone--my favorite scene) wants him working in the family sardine shop (the island's official agribusiness) with no more tinkering. (Cue subplot about our parents believing in us, yada yada yada.)

But Flint has something big in mind--a machine that converts water into food. And he would have gotten away with it, too--if it weren't for that meddling inadequate circuit breaker. He decides to hijack the town's power grid while the community is distracted by the opening of Sardine World, the mayor's public relations scheme to bring people and money to the island. (One of the funniest recurring bits has to do with Baby Brent, in his infancy the face of Baby Brent Sardines, now grown and coasting on his diapered notoriety.)

With a lot of machinations (the movie is all about the machinations--just when you think you've seen them all, a bunch more are hurled your way, and I mean hurled--the movie's in 3-D) the dream machine is launched, to much initial awe and rejoicing. The first glimpse of cheeseburgers spit from the sky into the hands of the gape-mouthed townsfolk is pretty awesome, though David and I were both distracted by all the food that ends up on the ground. Eww.

The event is captured by visiting weather intern Sam Sparks, getting her big break in the smallest way possible--or so she thinks. Instead, she's smack in the middle of "the perfect food storm" and sticks around to capture new developments. And, of course, she and Flint start to bond.

See, Sam is a secret nerd, who long ago put away her specs and banished her ponytail but dreams of owning her own Doppler machine. She talks nerdy when she gets excited, but quickly remembers herself, substituting "Wow!" and "Fluffy!" for scientific outbursts. But Flint can see through her act, and encourages her to let her freak flag fly. The scene where he builds her a castle out of jello and they have a date, of sorts, bouncing around, is charming. Even more charming is how he makes her a jello scrunchie for her ponytail afterward. It's nice to see two animated characters with so much chemistry (both romantic and otherwise.)

Things go wrong, as they often do, and Flint and Sam are called upon to save their island and the entire world from the menacing food machine. No one really blames Flint, since it's their collective greed that has pushed the mechanism into the yellow on the "Dangeometer." By now, the food is on steroids, cow-sized steaks falling wetly onto plates, pancakes smothering the school, Flint's dad almost getting buried under a single meatball. The rest of the movie features a lot of gargantuan, terrifying food hailing from the sky, and people running for their lives from it. I kept getting this tickling sense that there was some sort of extended metaphor here, something about sustenance and pleasure and greed gone wrong, but maybe the 3-D glasses (which required their own team outside the theater to keep tabs on them--David said they're the expensive kind) kept me from pursuing these theories to fruition. Oooh, fruition. There goes a baby about to buried under a boat-sized banana. I won't spoil the ending, of course, but let's just say Flint, Sam, Brent, a monkey and a very cute little doctor/pilot save the day.

Afterward, we went for dinner, and I guess the whole smorgasbord concept affected my brain because I think I ate too much. Many hours after that, we were going to bed and I said to David, "Not good. I am still full. I might throw up."

"Do you feel sick?"


"Then you're not going to throw up."

"But I'm full. I'm never full. I'm telling you; it's a bad sign."

I woke up in the middle of the night, Readers, and I threw up. And now I haven't been out of bed all day. I can't decide if it's just a coincidence, or if the giant 3-D food coming at my face had an osmosis-like effect. Anyway, enjoy the movie.


Jennifer said...

I absolutely LOVE the book!! I've heard from several teacher friends that the movie is quite different than the book. Of course it's just a picture book so to make it into a full length film, they would have to change or add something. Glad you liked it. I can't wait to see it. I need to find a child to take with me so I don't look like such a dork!
Sorry you were sick, hope you're all better now!

erin said...

Now I feel sick just reading about you throwing up.

I can't wait till Max and Elijah are just a wee bit older and we can all go to the movies.

I bet Max could weather through a whole film at this point, but I'm sure it would be filled with unnecessary trips to the bathroom and begging for candy and pop.

Hope you feel better.

Caroline said...

Sorry to hear you were sick. :( But you totally made me want to go see that movie, whereas before I had no interest. They need to send you a commission. :)

Hope you're feeling better!

Myrnie said...

After such an amazing write-up, how could I resist?

Feel better soon!

Aunt LoLo said... got food poisoning from giant meatballs that fell from the sky.

it's the only answer.

Feel better soon!!!!