Hollywood to Turn "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" Into Shitty, Nihilistic Movie
When I was a kid, before I could read, before I learned to get obsessed with girls, I was obsessed by a little perfect picture book that my poor, patient grandmother read to me over and over again until I was banished outside to eat bugs, a book called "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," by Judi and Ron Barrett.

The story is simple: it is the legend of the land of Chewandswallow, a place where instead of rain, snow, wind, and ice, the residents are showered daily with food. Each day, folks in Chewandswallow check the local weather report and see what they will be eating that day -- hamburgers, fish, iced cream, apple cobbler, steak, or jello.

Food rains down three times a day and is scooped up by the sanitation department, who snap the food up into tupperware containers for later.

In Chewandswallow, al fresco is de rigeur. You sit there with your plate in front of you and you wait.

But then, things start to go wrong. Giant, horrible food starts to precipitate for no reason. Flapjacks destroy schools. Huge, buttery muffins crush automobiles.

And then the food gets disgusting. It rains nothing but Gorgonzola cheese for days. For weeks, there is nothing but peanut butter sandwiches.

The food falling from the sky has become suddenly, impossibly hostile.

And so the people of Chewandswallow build huge rafts made of stale bread and sail away into the modern world, where you have to grow food and cook it. It's the story of the Garden of Eden stripped of the religious paranoia and delivered as a pure, rollicking tale that made my feverish toddler mind spin like an overloaded washing machine.

In addition to having a beautiful, pointless story (you could argue that it is a parable about modern environmental disaster, but really it is about motherfucking food falling from the motherfucking sky), "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" contains beautiful illustrations that are so meticulous that I thought they were photographs from a world beyond dreams, a world that would open to me someday if I prepared myself for it.

I have told everyone I know about this book. Over the years, I have used "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" as an example of what a story should be: simple, clean, devastating, and perverse.

But now I won't have to tell anyone about this story ever again. Because it will be released next September as a new Hollywood animated movie!

Unlike the original children's book, this film has a fun new message. You shouldn't try to fix the world's persistent and nightmarish hunger problem with science. Or maybe you should. Who knows? I guess you have to ask one of the "ratbirds."

If I ever meet the person responsible for this movie, I will introduce myself and -- if they look like they can take it -- I will slap them so hard in the face that they will feel it for years and will be forever scarred, the inch-deep impression of a crazy man's hand-print branded into their cheek like an embarrassing birth defect.

Maybe the movie will be a smash-hit animated success, but most likely it will be another lank, soggy link of feces squirted from the flaccid anus of an increasingly irrelevant, increasingly empty medium. Hollywood is an industry built on the raped, tortured bodies of insubstantial creatures too weak to defend themselves: pure stories snatched from their parents and contorted by modern comprechecos into disgusting, disfigured carnival attractions at which the benumbed masses are invited to mock and jeer.

Someday, Hollywood will destroy something from your childhood that you love, you will be slapped yourself, and you will see film for what it is: a traveling carnival of horrors where the ravaged souls of the dead are forced to dance, sing, and entertain for eternity. Go ahead. Buy another DVD. Carve another bleeding hole in the chest of another infant story, and fuck another beautiful story to death in its tender, too-weak heart.

Someday the stories will have their revenge.

Posted by miracle on Mon, 06 Apr 2009 09:58:05 -0400 -- permanent link

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