Following the success of “The Grinch” another of Dr.Seuss’s beloved characters is coming to the screen this holiday season with “The Cat in the Hat”.
The story follows a day in the life of a family run by a single mom (Kelly Preston), who is preparing her home for a work party for her hygiene obsessed boss Mr. Humberfloob (Sean Hayes). Since a messy house would result in the loss of her job, mom is concerned that her two children Sally (Dakota Fanning), and Conrad (Spencer Breslin) are likely to dirty the house in her absence. Sally is an obsessive type and not likely to dirty the home but Conrad often gets in trouble despite his best intentions and is a huge concern. Conrad is such a concern that mom’s boyfriend Quin (Alec Balwin), wants to send him away to a military school so he can woo the mother without the boy around to thwart his plans.
Desperate for a sitter, mom enlists the services of Mrs. Kwan (Amy Hill), a portly lady who has a tendency to fall into heavy sleep at a moments notice. Mrs. Kwan is not asleep for long when the children discover a large cat in a red and white hat in there home. The cat (Mike Myers), sets out to show the children a day of consequence free fun, and in the process, proceeds to dirty up the house while entertaining the children with all manner of tricks and gadgets.
The film is not very deep plot wise, and that is to be expected from a children’s film. Visually the world is awash in odd colors and shapes and is in keeping with the book. Myers though plays the cat with a voice resembling his Coffee Talk character from Saturday Night Live as it is a combination of an effeminate, Yiddish, New Yorker and does not fit the character. The makeup for the cat is very good, but the cat is lacking cat teeth as Myers sports a set of pearly whites that would make most dentists proud.
Another issue I had with the film is that many of the jokes were of the crude humor variety. I am all for deviant humor, but I did not see the need for crotch, flatulence, and erection jokes and similar innuendo in a film that was aimed at children. Myers also seems to be forced as the cat and plays him more as a smirking wisecracker who never runs out of double entendres.
I had so wanted to like this film but I found little to redeem this film but with a running time of around an hour and fifteen minutes, there just wasn’t enough going for the film to make it worth the trouble. My advice, save the money and save it for the DVD as I am sure the deleted scenes will help save this film from being litter box fodder.
2.5 stars out of 5