Saturday, April 13, 2013

A TALKING CAT!?! (2013)

This film tragically never reached the theaters and we were all denied a chance to say, "One for...A TALKING CAT!?!, young man."  If only I could have said that to someone in a beige vest, I would have been entertained enough to ignore any flaws that the movie itself contained.  

is the story of a talking cat!?! named Duffy, who shows up in a rich California neighborhood in order to play Cupid for a dad and his son and a catering mom and an unrelated teenage girl.  "But that's the plot of Emma and The Brady Bunch!?!" you say, and you're right.  Cat aside, A TALKING CAT!?! doesn't really inaugurate a new golden era of movie plotting, although it brings the super-repressed homoeroticism of Brady Bunch up to barely-repressed levels.  The gayest film about father-son romance ever?  

I'm not throwing down homophobia in a frat-boy way, this film is drenched in super-awkward and strained pseudo-hetero tendencies.  Directed by David DeCoteau under the nom "Mary Crawford", A TALKING CAT!?! represents a sharp turn from his rambling super-soft-boy/boy-porno efforts into light family comedy.  But DeCoteau has been unable to divest himself of his gay-sleaze ways, so this movie often feels like a porn that has been brutally edited for broadcast on ABC Family.  Limited sets, repeated shots of scenery, and rampant shirtlessness rampage through the whole thing.

Okay, and there's a talking cat and this might get long.  Because the cat is voiced by Eric Roberts, who sounds like maybe he got really drunk and fell into a chasm prior to recording his lines.  That would be a bigger issue if they had to sync up the cat's mouth movements with the lines, like Garfield, but they don't.  Because Duffy can only talk to a person one time, because that's "the rules".  And when the cat finally speaks, it looks like this:

That seriously might be the wisest line any movie has ever had.  It's never explained what "one time" entails, but we can assume it's more than one line because Duffy frequently blathers on for minutes at a time.  Maybe the rules are based around topicality, like the cat shuts up when the subject is switched?  

I'm at a loss at how to evaluate this.  It's obviously not a good movie, but it has too many draggy parts (that's not a drag queen pun, sorry, RuPaul fans) to qualify as a good-bad movie (or good-on-accident, as I prefer).  It is hyper-weird, though, with its 50s-style sexuality conflicts and its incredible fixation on the preparation and arrangement of cheese puffs.  And its talking cat that only talks for 5% of the film and uses a hungover pedo-voice.  Worth watching once and probably DeCoteau's best film to date, but don't expect a ROOM or TROLL II sort of miracle.

 PS the cat on the cover is clearly NOT the cat in the film!  That's exploitation!!!

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