Making the Grades
You’ll never look at lunch or the weather forecast the same way after watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Personally, the idea of meals just blowing in and raining down appears to be a good one. No stewing over what to make for dinner and no more lengthy trips to the grocery store. However, the best laid plans don’t always pan out.
Flint Lockwood’s (voice by Bill Hader) intentions are good. He’s always been the nerd, the weirdo, the freak with a head full of big ideas. But nothing has ever turned out to be as successful in reality as it looked on paper. Now the small town where Flint lives with his father Tim (voice by James Caan) is in serious trouble. The sardine factory has closed and the citizens on the tiny island are the only ones left to eat the salty seafood. Unfortunately a steady diet of sardines is becoming pretty unappetizing.
Squirreled away in his lab, Flint comes up with a tasty solution to their dilemma. He creates a food-making machine that will turn simple water molecules into yummy entrees. Unfortunately a power surge sends the machine hurtling into the stratosphere. Instead of serving dinner from the safety of his lab, the scrumptious meals begin falling from the sky.
The enterprising mayor (voice by Bruce Campbell) of Swallow Falls sees this new weather phenomenon as a way to rejuvenate business in the faltering town. He, without any input from the rest of the citizens, creates a food-based amusement park and begins promoting it to tourists around the world. But as the demands increase on the food processor, the gentle mealtime showers develop into severe storm patterns. With reporter Sam Sparks (voice by Anna Faris) broadcasting on location, the world watches as the town of Swallow Falls is caught up in the center of some nasty squalls.
This film’s delectable script, a cast of delicious characters and a hearty dash of topical jokes for the adults in the audience make this film entertaining for almost everyone. Very young viewers, however, may be frightened by some moments of peril, especially when a grown-up ‘Baby’ Brent (voice by Andy Samberg) is chased and eaten by a headless roasted turkey. Another man is electrocuted after sneaking into a power sub station. He also has to deal with constant bullying from his peers.
Still these characters discover that everyone has something to offer, particularly when they stay true to who they are. And while too much of any good thing can be bad, the forecast for this family film is sunny with a chance of laughs.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
While scientists still haven’t discovered how to make food from water molecules, they are working at creating more genetically modified foods. How can this improve food production? How do you feel about this type of intervention?
Flint and his father are on opposing ends of the technology scale. How does that impact their relationship? What technology gaps do you experience with your parents or children?
One of the characters pretends to be less intelligent than she is in order to have people like her. Why do people, especially women, often feel like they have to play dumb to be socially accepted?