Monday, October 26, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of Whistles?

I saw Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs a couple of weeks ago, and I enjoyed it, even if the whole fathers and sons thing was too heavyhanded IMO. And I've recently been relistening to the OCR of Anyone Can Whistle, which made me realize that there's a bit of similarity between the two. Not a lot, mind you, but some. For instance, both take place in a town that's fallen on hard times due to their main industry falling flat for a rather silly reason. In ACW, the town made a product that never wore out, thus, no one needs to buy anymore, and in CWaCoM, the town's sardine industry goes down the tubes when the world realizes that sardines are "super gross." And in both, the towns are revitalized by a "miracle" (water spurting from a rock and raining food, respectively) that is taken advantage of by the mayor. Of course, in CWaCoM, the food rain is actually created by a machine, but so is the water from a rock in ACW, although the mayoress and her cronies try to pass it off as a genuine miracle. And frankly, the mayor from CWaCoM could very easily sing the mayoress' opening song, "Me and My Town," with lyrics like:
Come on the train, come on the bus,
Somebody please buy a ticket to us.
Hurry on down-
We need a little renown.
Fitting, as the mayor's first scene is him announcing his intention to unveil something to put the town on the map. Over the course of the movie, the mayor's motivation is to build himself up using the town's fame, which is what ultimately leads to the third act, and meshes nicely with the mayoress' main motivation, which is, as her song states, "Me and my town, we just wanna be loved."

The second similarity is slightly spoilery, so if you're planning on seeing the movie, feel free to skip the rest of this post (although really, it's not a spoiler that will ruin your enjoyment of the movie).

Anyway, in both Anyone Can Whistle and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, the female leads (Fay Apple and Sam Sparks) have a persona they put on to hide their true selves, which they only reveal (at first) to their respective male leads (J. Bowden Hapgood and Flint Lockwood). Sam hides her geeky self behind a perky, "dumb blonde" TV personality, while Fay uses a Wig Dress Accent to get around her rigid, by-the-book self. However, the male leads react differently to their ladies' secret identities. Flint encourages Sam to embrace her inner geek, including inverting the usual "Glasses Gotta Go" scene, but Hapgood encourages Fay to relax and be free on her own, basically to be who she is with the wig, but without it.

Other than that, though, the two stories have little to do with each other, which is to be expected, considering ACW is forty years older than CWaCoM.

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