Movie of the Week: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

A Movie based on the best children’s book of all time

“The town of Swallow Falls, located on a tiny island hidden under the “A” in “Atlantic” on the world map, suffers an economic downturn after the sardine market collapses (“right after everyone in the world realized that sardines are super gross”), leaving sardines as the only food in Swallow Falls. Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is a teenage scientist whose inventions, beginning as a child (Max Neuwirth) when he created diamond-hard Spray-On Shoes, have all ended in disaster, including a Remote Controlled TV (it came to life and ran off), Hair Un-Balder (it grew too much hair), Flying Car (it didn’t fly), and Rat-birds (“they escaped and bred at a surprising rate”). Flint’s latest invention, Flint Lockwood’s Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator (or the FLDSMDFR), is a microwave oven that mutates water molecules into food. It doesn’t work due to the lack of power at his home, so he is forced by his unsupportive and technophobic father, Tim (James Caan), to work at his Bait and Tackle shop. Flint immediately sneaks out while his father is at the unveiling of Sardine Land, a new tourist attraction created by the Mayor (Bruce Campbell) and “Baby” Brent (Andy Samberg), the famous teenage mascot. Flint, along with his pet monkey, Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), hooks up the FLDSMDFR to the town’s power station. Unfortunately, the machine absorbs so much power that it takes off like a rocket, destroys Sardine Land, and flies up into the stratosphere. Flint hides under a ladder in the docks, he hears footsteps and meets Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), a teenage intern who throws her microphone in the water. When she sits in the ladder, she accidentally kick Flint’s eyes. She says sorry and says “her whole career was ruined by a some crazy jerk riding a homemade rocket”. She later notices that Flint is the “crazy jerk” who hit her. When the two witness giant purple clouds raining cheeseburgers over Swallow Falls, Sam reports the events and mentions Flint is responsible. Flint becomes famous, with new foods raining down every day. The Mayor, who is now binge eating, convinces Flint to “make it rain food three meals a day every day” for a month which will turn Swallow Falls into a new tourist attraction called “Chewandswallow”. Flint also invents a machine called the Outta-Sighter to put uneaten food into a new “Mt. Leftovers” (“from which we are protected by a presumably indestructible dam”).

During the last week before the grand reopening, the town cop, Earl (Mr. T), requests an ice cream snow day for his son, Cal’s (Bobb’e J. Thompson) birthday. This causes the FLDSMDFR to start becoming overloaded. Flint asks Sam if she “would like to go a date -er, activity- with him” the day before Chewandswallow’s grand reopening in a massive Jell-O mold, where Sam told Flint about her past that she is a nerd. When she was young, she wore glasses. Flint puts her glasses on her face and makes a Jell-O scrunchie and ties Sam’s hair into a ponytail. That night, Flint invites his father to dinner as a VIP at a roofless restaurant in order to impress him with his new success. Tim instead questions the wisdom of an endless supply of food when big steaks fall into the restaurant, which angers Flint. After storming off, Flint notices giant hot dogs falling from the sky, and heads to his lab to investigate. He deduces that the machine is overworking and tries to shut it off. The Mayor, now morbidly obese, shows up, and convinces Flint that keeping the machine running is the only way to get people to like him. At the Mayor’s request, Flint orders spaghetti and meatballs.

The next day, while tourists from around the world are arriving, Sam tries to warn Flint about the storm that’s coming, but he refuses to believe her. After Flint cuts the ribbon, a spaghetti tornado destroys half the town. Sam angrily runs off while Flint returns to his lab to turn off the machine, but finds the Mayor ordering “dinner”. Flint tries to send a kill code to the FLDSMDFR, but the Mayor attempts to kill Flint. (Mayor: “Hey Flint…it’s been nice to BEET you!”) (Flint: “That’s a radish!”) Instead, he destroys the communication device for the FLDSMDFR. Dismayed, Flint asks the Mayor what he ordered, and the Mayor, also dismayed, says “A Vegas-style ‘All You Can Eat’ buffet.” Earl’s son Cal falls into a “food” coma, and Sam’s cameraman, Manny, (Benjamin Bratt) cures him, since he’s a doctor. Sam calculates the Coriolis effect and finds out that in four hours the entire Northern Hemisphere will be covered in food after hitting New York, Paris and the Jiayuguan Pass. Flint decides he really is a failure, but his dad gets his confidence back. Flint uploads the kill code to a flash drive and, along with Steve, Sam, Brent, and Manny (who is also a pilot), flies up into the stratosphere to destroy the FLDSMDFR, while the citizens and remaining tourists build sandwich boats to escape into the ocean, but the Mayor takes his own boat and gets a head start, leaving the citizens to die. (He then starts eating his boat.)

Nearing the location of the FLDSMDFR, Flint and the others find it is inside in a giant “meatball”. They are attacked by mutant foods with artificial intelligence. After they escape a mutant pizza, Flint says “That was close. I mean, can you imagine if we lost this kill code?” The flash drive then flies out the window. Flint, Sam, and Brent enter the meatball and make their way towards the FLDSMDFR. Flint calls his father and asks him to send the kill code from his lab computer to his cell phone. As Tim struggles to send Flint the kill code, the dam holding back Mt. Leftovers gives way and food covers the town, presumably crushing Tim. But he manages to survive the avalanche and sends the kill code. The food storm begins to cover the world, destroying famous landmarks with giant food, including Times Square (being crushed by a giant doughnut), the Eiffel Tower (a BLT sandwich, complete with an olive, using the Eiffel Tower as a toothpick), Mt. Rushmore (pies thrown at the faces), London (raining hot tea), and the Great Wall of China (with a fortune cookie that says “You are about to be crushed by a giant corn, then the giant corn falling down seconds later). Flint is left to go on alone after Brent turns into a chicken and Sam, who is allergic to peanuts, is cut by a shard of peanut brittle.

At the center of the meatball, Flint manages to plug his cell phone into the FLDSMDFR, only to discover that his father had accidentally sent a video of kittens singing “Fight the Power.” The machine starts trying to shoot food at Flint. As the machine prepares to expel a final blast of giant food, Flint uses his Spray-On Shoes formula to block the spout, causing the FLDSMDFR and the meatball to explode. The giant food clouds around the world disappear, and Sam, Brent, Steve, and Manny manage to land safely. They at first assume Flint was killed in the explosion, but are relieved to find he has been saved by a flock of Rat-birds. Tim is finally able to express his love and admiration for his son by using Steve’s monkey-thought translator, and Sam and Flint share their first kiss. Meanwhile, the Mayor, after his defeat, is left lost at sea, holding a pretzel mast and Swiss cheese sail.

During the credits sequence, the town is renamed “Chewandswallow 2”. Flint and Tim are shown opening a business that uses the Spray-On Shoes formula as roof sealant. The Mayor is “deflated” and arrested by Earl and Cal. Patrick Patrickson (Al Roker) encounters the ghost of Flint’s mom, Fran (Lauren Graham), and Joe Towne (Will Forte). Damaged landmarks became made out of food, and Mt. Rushmore is made out of the heads of Flint, Sam, Tim, and Steve. The movie credits end with everyone spraying the Spray-On Shoes into the sky.”

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