Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a funny food film

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Based on a 30-year-old children’s book about a town where food falls out of the sky, this zippy CGI adaptation beefs up the slight story by giving more time to bullied inventor Flick Lockwood (voiced by Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader) and spunky, nerdy weathergirl Sam Sparks (The House Bunny’s Anna Faris). As cool as the concept sounds (I’d love to find Little Debbie Zebra Cakes on my lawn), the whole raining-hamburgers thing - in 3-D, no less! - turns out to be a problem when a greedy mayor tampers with Flick’s weather machine and oversized food begins to flood the town. Despite its thin premise, there’s a lot going on in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: daddy issues, self-esteem issues, a guy walking around with a giant macaroni on his head. It’s pretty funny too, aiming its (thankfully pop culture-free) jokes and visual gags at both kids and grown-ups. Even that trusty comedy backup — a mischievous monkey — gets some big laughs here. Plus, Hader and Faris give their most winning performances. Meatballs is full of little surprises. But the biggest surprise is that it’s way better than a movie featuring a spaghetti twister should be. ***

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