Directed by: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Written by:Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris
Released: November 26, 2009
Grade: B

If you’re off to the movies this weekend with the kids, then the forecast is Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.  I do like that title.  It wasn’t the filmmakers who came up with it though – it’s the title of a children’s book written by Judi and Ron Barrett which was first published in 1978.  I must have missed that one when I was growing up.

Ever since he was young, Flint Lockwood (Hader) has dreamed of being a successful inventor.  On his bedroom wall are posters of guys like Alexander Graham Bell and Nikola Tesla.  Unfortunately, Flint is not yet in their league.  He has some wonderful ideas but he struggles to put theory into practice.

I should mention that Flint is from a small community who live on an island in the Atlantic.  The town’s income is derived from sardine fishing.  When the world realised just how yucky sardines were, business fell through the floor.  The residents are now struggling financially and the mayor is looking for a way to revitalise the town.

Flint’s time to shine has arrived.  He has invented a machine which will make it rain food.  He sends it up into the atmosphere and then types his menu into his laboratory computer.  It rains hamburgers, it rains bacon and eggs, it rains ice-cream.  Everyone is well fed and Flint becomes the island’s most popular person.  He even finds a love interest – a weather reporter named Sam Sparks (Faris).  All his dreams have come true.

What goes up, must come down however.  Flint soon realises that his revolutionary weather machine has a few problems.  With everyone eating so gluttonously, waste lines are starting to expand.  Just wait until you see the mayor.  Further, the size of food falling from the sky is getting bigger and bigger.  Something’s got to give.

This fun children’s film with a catchy title is sure to generate interest as we approach the Christmas school holidays.  As you’d expect from a film of this nature, some notable stars have provided their voices to the movie.  James Caan is great as Flint’s old fashioned father.  Mr. T is also good as a police officer trying to keep everyone in line.

I admit that I found the storyline somewhat limited.  You kind of know everything that’s going to happen before it does.  I didn’t laugh as much as I thought I would either.  It’s more wacky than humorous – something that I know kids won’t have a problem with at all.

Screening in 3D in selected cinemas (always a plus), Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a watchable animated flick but not one that’s overly memorable.