A Talking Cat!?! is made up of subplots tied together by other subplots. As the old adage goes, two subplots do not a full plot make. But maybe a whole mess of subplots will confuse people into thinking they watched something of substance.
Subplots are like edible packing peanuts. It’s neat to try one or two, but don’t eat a whole box of them. You’ll get sick.
Phil, who is newly retired, is going to try his hand at cooking. Surprise! Phil is no good at cooking! In fact, he sets off the smoke detector.
The smoke detector! Holy smokes! Phil’s son, Chris, springs into action! You see, unlike everyone else over 5 years old, Chris still thinks a smoke alarm means danger and not “someone left a little crud in the oven when making a pizza.” This is lucky for us because we get to see Chris come all the way down the stairs from his room.
That’s a relief. I was beginning to worry about how Chris was going to get down from the upstairs.
Chris expresses his concern about this beeping fire whatzit, and Phil admits “I can’t make waffles” like a man finally coming up for air after holding his breath for the last forty years. They’ll have to get a new “waffle machine.” Now, this waffle device could very well be motorized. But I’m pretty sure everyone else calls it a “waffle maker.” Then again, Phil is bad at cooking. And words.
It feels like we’ve been talking about waffles for all of 10 seconds! Time to change the subject to what Chris is wearing. A blue polo and chinos. That’s certainly an unusual style of dress that sticks out and deserves mentioning.
It turns out Frannie is coming over. ANY MINUTE! Certainly a cause for khakis. But Phil doesn’t know who Frannie is. Phil! Don’t you remember the conversation you had about Frannie? Let me remind you.
Chris said “what do you do when you like a girl?” And then a cat came by and distracted you both. How could you not remember that and that Frannie was never mentioned?
Since the house smells like waffles, Phil suggests Chris and Frannie meet by the pool. This “Phil is bad at cooking” subplot will lead us nicely into the “Frannie only wants to swim” subplot. Genius!
Obviously, Chris is embarrassed when Phil offers to bring them juice by the pool. Which causes Chris to retreat. But how will he get back upstairs? I hope they show us.
A Talking Cat!?! was specifically made to waste your time. Not just in an “OMG LOL I can’t believe we’re watching this bad movie” sort of way but in every way possible. Here is all the dialogue from the riveting “Did We Get A Cat” scene.
Chris: Dad, did we get a cat?
Phil: No, why?
Chris: What do you do when you like a girl?
Phil: Well, uh…
Chris: Oh, I did see a cat. That one.
Phil: Yeah, me too.
Chris: Weird, right?
Phil: Hey, let’s order that pizza.
Chris: Yeah, I’d like that.
Nine lines in the entire scene.
Number one, what the hell kind of fractured language do these people speak? Pick a topic and stick to it! Girls, pizzas, cats. Something!
Secondly, and most importantly, this scene lasts 30 seconds longer than a 9 line scene should. To open the scene, Phil strolls aimlessly through his unnecessarily large home with an expression of loss on his face.
Hmm. The scene is still running about 20 seconds short. You know, the audience is too dumb to figure out how people get from one place to another. We had better show Chris descend the stairs.
What have we learned from this scene? Girls and cats are trumped by pizza, and this movie will end up being 50 minutes longer than it needs to be.
Also, stairs allow you to move from one area of the house that is higher to another area of the house that is lower.
OR, I don’t want to blow your mind here, stairs allow you to move from one area of the house that is LOWER to another area of the house that is HIGHER.
I’ll understand if you need to take some time to process this all. This has been a harrowing 39 seconds of film.