Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs…and Allergies

By Heather Legg

This weekend, amidst the rain and cancelled soccer games, we went to see the new movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I do have to say, I think it’s a great, fun film, though my husband used the darkened theater to take a nap.

Of course, as in any good movie, there’s conflict and suspense, and a little foreshadowing. In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, one of the story lines plays around food allergies. Apparently, Bill Hader (from SNL fame) has a nut allergy and according to a Seattle Times movie review,

“Sam’s peanut allergy, which also plays a crucial role, was inspired by Hader’s allergies to nuts. “How do you do a movie about food without someone having a food allergy?” the actors asked.”

As Flint and Sam are getting to know each other, Sam tells Flint that she has a peanut allergy, he says he does, too. He admits later that he doesn’t, he was just telling her that she’d like him more. She questions that tactic, by the way. The main part with the allergy , however, is when Flint has to get down a chasm lined with pointy bits of peanut brittle. Of course, Sam can’t go with him, but gets cut nonetheless, by the peanut brittle. Her arm and face swell, she is rushed to the pilot/doctor flying the super car in the wings of Chicken Brent (yes, you gotta see the movie) and the doctor gives her the shot of epi in her leg. It’s quite well done, in other words, the reaction is taken seriously, as is her allergy (Flint wouldn’t let her go with him, she tries to avoid the brittle) and the shot is given by a doctor in her leg just as it’s supposed to be done.

I’ve read some reviews and comments on this aspect of the film, and of course, they’re mixed. There are those that list the allergy under violence in the movie, some that have thought twice about taking their children to see it due to the allergy in the movie, but mostly, it’s well received. I think it’s a good example, and it’s also reassuring to see that an actor incorporates something so real life into such a fantasy flick.

Personally, I say well done. You can’t hide from allergies and I think the scene is far from scary and it’s a good chance for a child to see what could happen with an allergy, and it has a positive ending because they handled it immediately and smartly. Way to go, Cloudy! Now if we could just get it to rain jellybeans…

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