Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
PG
Entertainment: +3 1/2
Acceptability: +3

Main actors: Voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Neil Patrick Harris. Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Based on the novel by Judi and Ron Barrett

FILM SYNOPSIS: Eye-popping scenes of a huge twister filled with meatballs, followed by buns, lettuce and tomatoes, is just the beginning of an eccentric young scientist’s dream coming true. Nerdy Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) lives with his parents on a small island supported solely by a sardine industry. Flint spends his time in his “laboratory” studying the atmosphere with his amazing “Rube Goldberg” style inventions. At last he attracts worldwide attention when he successfully causes thousands of meatballs to fall from the sky. A major television network sends intern Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) to cover this phenomenon. Encouraged by his first success and the islanders’ excitement, Flint follows up with a shower of pizzas, steaks and even an ice cream fairyland.

The action-filled, 3D colorful animation by Sony Pictures Animation and clever dialogue will entertain all ages. It will be interesting to see if the movie based on a popular children’s novel pleases fans of the original story.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs delivers a strong message: Too much of a good thing is not good. As the islanders bask in the constant raining of junk food after a lifetime of eating mostly sardines and other seafood, obesity creates health problems. Flint’s father, Tim (James Caan), owns a sardine bait shop but no one wants to fish when all the pizza and burgers they want are falling from the sky. Huge cruise ships packed with tourists begin flocking to the island after Sam’s live telecasts are broadcast worldwide. Chaos reigns as the junk food rains flood the island. Suddenly Flint’s popularity turns sour as efforts to turn off the spigot fail.

Flint realizes how much harm he has caused, including disappointing his father, who has always encouraged and supported him in his scientific experiments. Now Flint fears that all the computers and other sophisticated technical equipment for his laboratory will be taken from him if he can’t reverse the disaster he created. For the first time, he has to ask for help from Sam and his father.

This is pure fantasy and the action is constant, but not scary. There may have been some crude language that slid by this reviewer and probably most of the audience. Neither does this family film include any kind of crude humor so typical of many PG rated movies.

(Editor’s Note: Mary Draughon, a former reviewer for Preview, has kindly offered to assist me with reviews. Her professional abilities and helpful heart are most appreciated.)

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Some danger as a huge twister sweeps over the island, and later as Flint risks his life to save the island
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Greedy mayor takes advantage of his position to the detriment of residents.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Families

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