A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Sloppy With a Chance of Boredom

on October 2, 2013

(I have to use this gif again, because it’s just too perfect. Perhaps it’ll become my signature gif.)

We took our son to see “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” and squirmed miserably through the whole thing. (My husband even nodded off at one point.) Although it did an admirable job of not driving home jokes from the previous movie too much into the ground, the pacing was completely off, the transitions were sloppily done, and the whole thing felt badly in need of more work. And the new characters took weird to a whole other level; the premise was fantastical enough itself without needing a science fiction villain.  I think it’s interesting that every bit of advertising I’ve seen has completely eliminated the new characters.

It’s especially sad because I have to contrast it with the last children’s movie I saw, “Despicable Me 2,” which left me feeling like I’d been slugged in the jaw by the sexism fairy. I know it’s my job as a mom to talk to my kid about things that offend me, but how do I even bring this up? “Well young son, that scene with the drugged woman being dragged around unconscious and treated as a joke and an object upset me because it reminded me of a real live case I hope you have never heard of in which a bunch of men did actually that to a drunk woman.” The other, myriad instances of sexism and racism would also be hard to explain without the background to understand them.

By contrast, “Cloudy 2” has a smart, straight-talking, and capable female character, who does some of the rescuing herself.  Although she is in peril at times, she’s never alone — most of the other characters are in just as deep.  And although her relationship with the movie’s hero has a touch of romance, they are obviously true best friends. 

Son thought the movie was awesome. He loves cuteness, and as a budding marketing genius, immediately saw the potential for adorable stuffed toys (he wants a “Barry” strawberry lovey, and he shall have one — when they’re available commercially and not $80 on ebay.) It’s kind of cool too, now that I think about it, to see a movie that isn’t marketed specifically for girls but has so much cute in it. And unlike, say, “Wreck-it Ralph,” its cuteness isn’t gendered.

So if nothing else, I guess I can be happy that my son didn’t recognize how crappy this otherwise was, and gets to be exposed to some more positive messages about women than he usually gets from movies. I’ll just be sure to have a crossword puzzle book handy when it comes to Netflix.

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4 responses to “Sloppy With a Chance of Boredom

  1. AJH says:

    I entirely support this becoming your gif. Is there a petition I can sign?Since Kathryn got old enough to be a consumer of media that wasn't solely about dinosaurs (and part of me regrets this…) I've become sort of rabid about what the world in general might be saying to be my god daughter about the sort of person she is, or could, or can't become, and what that might me.(Despicable Me 2 is now off the movie list)I keep feeling like I get thrown these curve balls as well. Like Brave. Okay, it was charming and lovely, but at the same I thought it was going to be Braveheart for girls, you know? And instead it was this weird mum-bear-transformation comedy. And I kind of feel "be nice to your mother now" is a bloody obnoxious to message to be giving little girls when little boys are constantly getting told "follow your dreams and save the world." Why not "follow you dreams, save the world AND be nice to you mum?"Tangential ranting brought to you by 😉

  2. willaful says:

    Yeah, we pretty much always have to settle for "not as crappy as usual" instead of getting "really awesome!" when it comes to stuff for/about girls. I'd think it was easier to raise a boy, except for the part where we need to teach him not to be a person who makes life shitty for girls. Luckily his dad is totally on it.

  3. farmwifetwo says:

    I've been very careful over the years about what the kids can see. Maybe too careful some would claim but…. I just didn't think Spiderman (the adult movie) was appropriate to have been shown in class in Gr 2 – eldest. Nor that one of the kids in my youngest's self-contained room wants to see Titanic on their Fri movie day. I vetoed that one entirely and the Teacher promised it would not be shown. Good, b/c I'll be asking my kid. There is nothing fun or romantic about a boat load of people locked into a hold and drowned. Nor is it appropriate for a room full of 12/13yr olds that are dev aged 7 and under.If the eldest says something – he's nearly 14 – I try to explain it. But it's nearly impossible since he is so very narcissistic (severe TOM). Sometimes I think if something socially inappropriate happens and they don't notice it, it's better to just let it go than bring it to their attention. Ironically, the severe one gets it when he finds something on You Tube that has "bad words" and we tell him "No, that has bad words" or "No, don't say that it's bad words". Although, he prefers children's tv, Cash Cab and it's questions, Wheel of Fortune, Wipe Out – no inferencing required. So far they have seen Barnyard and Scooby Doo… thing is I'm not certain he watches the movies, but just the credits when they come on…

  4. willaful says:

    It can definitely be better to ignore it. When son was younger, he would seriously stim on anything forbidden.

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