A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Talking Cat!?! is from director David DeCoteau, who delights in making B-movies that don't quite deliver on their cover's promise but that certainly fulfill every rule of bad movies: awkward dialogue and transitions, recycled footage, and animals that rarely do the dazzling suggested of them. That said, there are positive lessons here about families spending time together, breaking from technology to reconnect, and the idea that some people are simply meant to meet and improve each other's lives. Be aware that there is some name-calling by siblings and that a cat is hit by a car (not shown).
What's the story?
A talking cat named Duffy (voiced by Eric Roberts) may only be able to have one conversation with each human he meets, but he uses it to tell them exactly how they should be spending their time. Duffy gives instructions to Phil (Johnny Whitaker), his son Chris, a woman named Susan (Kristine DeBell), and others. The question is, can they trust that this talking cat has their best interests in mind, or does he have a bigger agenda?
Is it any good?
If you've seen one of director David DeCoteau's exercises in so-bad-it's-good filmmaking, you've seen them all -- literally. He uses many of the same actors, recycles some of the same footage of waterfalls and beaches in each of his films, and insists on putting animals on the covers of his movies that never appear in the actual movie.
A TALKING CAT!?! is guilty of the same low-budget approach, plodding pace, and general absurdity as such asmasterpieces as An Easter Bunny Puppy and A Christmas Puppy, though, unlike in those films, the plot and basic story mechanics make sense.
Kids who are too young to be critical thinkers and who like talking cats will still probably not find enough cat talking here to devote their full attention. Budding film students may love the study in what not to do offered here. And parents who find themselves stuck watching this thing will just need to lean into the terribleness. Bare minimum, there are some good lessons here about families spending time together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fear of trying something new. Have you ever been afraid to try something new, such as swimming or a new hobby? What helped you finally overcome your fears?
If you could talk to an animal for only one conversation, what animal would you talk to, and what would you ask?
Have you ever met someone at the right time and the right place to help him or her or to learn from him or her? What happened?
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