One Of James Caan’s Great Movie Moments Was In An Unlikely Family Film


“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” was directed by the dynamic duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and is based on the children’s book of the same name. It centers on Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), a struggling inventor who finally finds success by building a machine that literally makes food rain from the sky. However, this goes a little off the rails, as one might expect, and animated hijinks ensue. All the while, Flint is contending with his complex relationship with his father, Tim Lockwood, played by Caan. Tim is a man’s man who does not nor has he ever understood Flint’s inventions. They are polar opposites in this world, as parents and their children often can be.

After a harrowing mission to stop the machine, Flint reunites with his father for a post-chaos father/son moment. Throughout the film, we have seen that the love is there between these two, but Tim has a great deal of trouble expressing that love — he simply doesn’t appreciate his son’s interests, and can’t find that connection. Plus, with Flint’s mom and Tim’s beloved wife out of the picture, a connective buffer hasn’t been there to nurture their naturally distant relationship. All of this sets the table for an emotionally devastating yet beautiful scene, glimpsed above.

Tim attempts to express his feelings towards Flint and, seemingly, it’s more of the same. But then Flint’s animal thought translator is placed on Tim’s chest and we get a true glimpse at the father’s feelings about his son. What Caan manages to convey using merely his words through a character that doesn’t even have eyeballs and isn’t opening his mouth is downright remarkable. It is emotional, effective, resonant, and beautiful. It is also really unexpected in a film with such a silly premise, but Lord and Miller are great at this sort of thing.