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Review: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Animated fare will leave kids unsatisfied
By ALICIA POTTER  |  September 16, 2009
1.5 1.5 Stars

 

This bizarre animated adaptation of Judi Barrett's cult-classic children's book by Phil Lord and Chris Miller ladles up much to chew on yet little that's appetizing. Burgers, pancakes, and pasta do rain from the sky, but here mishap-prone scientist Flint (Bill Hader) invents the mealtime meteorology to impress his disapproving dad (James Caan), whose moustache cannot disguise his resemblance to an uncircumcised penis.

Throughout, the terrible script and garish, pointlessly 3-D visuals distract — why do all the women, among them Flint's weather-girl crush (Anna Faris), look anorectic? As the falling feast gets bigger and more perilous, the film seems to take on global warming, genetically engineered food, American excess, and Bill Clinton (whom the evil, corpulent mayor unabashedly recalls).

Intentional allegorizing or not, without the wry surreality of its source, such a strange stew will likely leave kids hungry.

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