My daughter, who absolutely hated “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” was pretty adamant about seeing “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” I admit, I wasn’t a fan of the first one either, and we never made it through the whole movie, so I don’t even know what happened at the end. Ella watched it a second time at school and came home declaring it “the worst movie ever! Don’t even watch the ending, mom, it’s horrible. I don’t even want to talk about it.”
But I thought the trailer and the promos for part 2 looked cute, and so did she. We loved the “tacodile supreme” and laughed every time we saw it. We headed to the theater this weekend and watched part 2. I didn’t think it was bad, but as we left the theater, Ella said, “the first part gets a thumbs up, the second part gets a thumbs down.” I don’t know if I fully agree with that assessment, but she is six, and the target audience, so okay.
Now, every time I repeat the line about the tacodile, she says, “Stop it. I don’t think it’s funny anymore.” Damn you Hollywood for always putting the best lines in the promos. I’m not sure what pissed her off about the movie, but I have a feeling it was the fact that Flint Lockwood’s mom is nowhere to be found.
Don’t think my daughter hasn’t noticed that just about EVERY time she watches a movie, the mom is gone. Not present. Dead or a deserter. The questions started with “The Little Mermaid,” and quite frankly, they haven’t stopped, because the mom in these movies is ALWAYS gone.
I’ve always wondered why and I’ve had a hard time trying to explain to my daughter about the untimely passing of almost every princesses mother. But, it was during “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” that I had an “A-ha” moment. That moment when the light bulb goes off and you have a huge revelation.
The mom is always gone, because there’s no way in hell a mom would let half this shit happen. Everyone knows mom is the glue that keeps the family together and mom will stop bullshit in its tracks. So, no mom is going to let her mermaid daughter be part of anyone’s world except the under the sea one that she belongs to.
No mom is going to sit back while an evil step dad sends a huntsman out to kill her daughter and bring her heart back in a box. And no mom is going to let her son invent a machine that turns water into food, causing world destruction. I don’t know what this says about Dads, that might be another blog post, but even the most loving, supportive father in these films let their children put themselves into life-threatening situations.
While at the soccer field this weekend, I heard one dad talking to another. Dad #2’s wife was clearly out-of-town for the weekend. Dad #2 forgot to bring something to the soccer game and Dad #1 said, “that’s what happens when your wife goes out-of-town – you lose your infrastructure.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself, but then again, I’m the asshole who forgot to bring water to the game. At 2 p.m. in 90 degree heat. Thankfully Dad was thinking, and so was the snack mom, so we all stayed hydrated.
The reality is mom is the infrastructure of the family. She remembers the sunscreen, makes the kids eat healthy food, and keeps everyone in the family from making stupid decisions. And since kids movies are almost always about stupid decisions gone awry, mom has no place in those storylines. The laundry list of movies where mom is gone would have very different outcomes if mom were around. It’s like a backhanded compliment, you’re too smart, so we axed you, but then again, we axed you.
What are your thoughts on kids movies and the fact that mom is almost always missing? Have your kids noticed?