and i’m not sure if it was because i just expected something different, or if it truly was subpar. probably, as is the case with most situations like this, it was a little bit of both. Ratatouille was pretty much made out to be the most brilliant film of the year. i mean, it got ridiculous online ratings (97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and 96/100 on Metacritic – 6th highest rated Metacritic movie ever). so i think it HAD to be better than i think it was.
i’d gotten myself excited about it too, so i think there was a possibility of disappointment there. when i see new animated movies, i typically subconsciously begin to compare them to Toy Story – which is completely unfair because Toy Story is one of my favorite animated movies ever to exist…the only recent movies to even compare are Toy Story 2 and Meet the Robinsons. but anyway. i’m always looking for excellence, and when an animated movie doesnt come through like i want it to then i get a little bummed out.
but anyway. enough about expectations and deliverance – my reasons for being somewhat disappointed:
first of all, it lacked a substantial amount of humor. well, thats not entirely true, there was humor, but it typically came in the form of slapstick and situational humor. I typically go more for the one liners, so possibly just not my cup of tea, but the humor that was involved seemed to be even less funny still. from what i’ve found, in most animated movies there is a second or third tier character who tends to provide the bulk of the humor in the movie. this is why Toy Story is so perfect to me – there are about 35 lower level characters providing tons of one-liners. But i felt that this movie lacked those characters and the humor they provide. overall, it probably wasn’t even supposed to be the slightest bit funny…i just wanted it to be.
the movie also hit me as 100% dramatic. a little drama is ok, but when a love story springs out of no where? i just didnt understand the importance of it. the movie revolves around this rat (who’s name i’m not sure if i ever even caught in the movie) who wants to be a chef, and this kid, Linguini, who wants to be a chef but pretty much is horrible. so the two find each other and work together. Rat’s aren’t acceptable – humans are; Linguini can’t cook – Emril the Rodent can. it works. it’s a simple concept that can work. however, the rat starts talking with the spirit of a famously dead chef, the kid randomly decides to fall for the feminist chick chef in the kitchen, the rat’s family doesn’t believe he should mess with humans, the kid turns out to be the chef spirit’s son and it complicates things – you know, typical film complications – but everything felt extremely over”acted” and kinda rubbed me the wrong way. cheesy and dramatic. thats about it.
one bright side to it: so much talk of great food made me super hungry. even for an animated movie, the food looked pretty tasty. Linguini/the rat makes this soup – and it is just a boring orangy-red color…perhaps salmon? nah, that’s too pink. but anyway. it just sounded so perfect and it started to make me wish i wasn’t a poor college kid. i want some fine dining for a change.
i should probably re-watch it with different expectations – i’ve noticed that enjoying a movie depends chiefly on your attitude going into it; if it isn’t what you expected then you can’t fully enjoy it. my thoughts at least.
right now…i’d give ratatouille 2 stars with the option for a third if it ever manages to hit me while i’m in the right mood…like maybe i can put it on in the kitchen and watch it while i make sweet potatoes (which i mastered over thanksgiving – add it to the list: guacamole, cereal, peppermint bark, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and sweet potatoes).