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The One-Line Summary: Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), a young eccentric inventor living in a small town called Swallow Falls on a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, has had a string of mishaps and failed attempts at inventing something that truly works, but when he creates the “Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator” (FLDSMDFR) to supplement the mostly sardine diet of the island and hooks it up to the city’s power supply, it breaks free and rockets through town wrecking havoc before zipping up to the sky, seemingly another outrageous failure until something marvelous happens with it begins to rain.
The Two-Line Blurb: From SONY Pictures Animation and loosely based on the popular children’s book of the same name by Judi and Ron Barrett, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is certainly creative and has no lack of imagination as the FLDSMDFR can create any food and pour it from the sky, leaving the townspeople awash in a variety of food they’ve never had before, but also the consequences. Populated by some very charismatic characters (voiced by Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg and more) the animation style is suitably exaggerated and colorful, though the story grows a bit excessive and predictable, despite the clever premise.
The Three-Line Set-up: This moment is all about the shock of success and begins with Flint’s history of determination in the face of continued failure, with such wacky inventions as spray-on shoes and a doomed flying car. When the town’s sardine cannery goes under and the economy sinks leaving people only sardines to eat, Flint invents a device that can turn water into food, but when he plugs into his a standard outlet, it overloads the circuitry. He then connects it to the nearby power plant for added energy and it jets off (with him on it) like a missile, flying through town and smacks into and ruins local weather intern Samantha Sparks (Farris) chance for a big break on live TV.
The Four-Line Moment: Frustrated and humiliated at the failure, Flint hides under the docks while Samantha arrives, sulking, and the two begin to argue but as Samantha rants about lost opportunities, Flints notices something odd happening. Cheese and pickles are randomly falling from the sky and soon, a great roiling mass of rainbow colored clouds appear over the town showering hamburgers like drops of rain. It stuns Flint, mouth wide open (a series trademark), disbelieving his invention actually works with hundreds of burgers, buns, and more falling in torrents all over the city. It’s the moment when Flint finally gets his chance to shine, and even though the machine backfires and the remainder of the film is about him trying to defeat the beast he created, the power of achievement redefines his character and poises him to be the hero the story needs.
The Five-Word Review: Fun, food-filled family film.
Clip courtesy Movieclips