February 6, 2010

Demanding realism from the unrealistic

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" was the film tonight at Casa de Jentifred. Hey, what do you expect when you've got little kids? I was just glad it wasn't the 723rd showing of "The Little Mermaid". Anyway, for those of you who don't usually watch movies with less than a PG-13 rating, the basic premise is that a slightly wacky inventor creates a machine that transforms the water in clouds into food. Hence, the title. Realistic premise? Hell, no. It's a kids' movie--what do you expect, really? It's a genre that typically features talking animals, sentient toys, and/or fairy godmothers. My kids were laughing hysterically at the idea of cheeseburgers raining down from the sky, but even the 3-year-old knows better than to expect chicken nuggets from the next storm.

As it turned out, one of the main characters in the film has a peanut allergy (as do my 3-year-old and I) and has a reaction due to an unfortunate encounter scratching her arm against some giant peanut brittle. She swells up comically, argues with the wacky inventor over going to get her epipen, gets the meds, and is immediately fine after a shot in the thigh. Apparently, a lot of folks in the peanut allergy community had major issues with this unrealistic portrayal of allergy. I'm wondering if they missed the giant pieces of food landing on other characters and NOT killing them? It's a movie, folks. It's not realistic and isn't meant to be. In real life, no--it's not funny when someone's face swells up. But it's not funny when something falls out of the sky and lands on someone either. In real life she would have called 911 and gone to the hospital. In a movie, that doesn't advance the plot.

Honestly, I liked how it was done. You want realism from a movie? Go see a documentary. I prefer to be entertained.