So, I saw Cats.
Currently it’s got 19% on Rotten Tomatoes and has become a virtual scratching post for reviewers, calling the film “terrible”, “deliberate doggerel”, “all-awful” and “clumsy” thanks to the direction of Tom Hooper. Others have spent paragraphs writing about how creepy it is to see people transformed into cats, with their nether regions erased, their breasts enhanced and their whiskers, well…coming out from under human noses. Some have called it boring, hard-to-watch, off-key, scary, horrifying and generally a, wait for it…a CAT-astrophe.
Many of the reviews have chosen to finish their reviews about the movie with funny, ironic, hilarious puns, saying things like “this movie is a dog”, “scratch this one up as a failure” and my all-time favorite incoherent pun, “I couldn’t spay through the end credits.”
But that’s not the story. The story? It’s that I absolutely loved this movie.
It’s like Tom Hooper did a deep-state look into my Google search queries, then took the top 10 search terms and fashioned his new film out of it. Those queries, by the way, for your own edification include:
- Cute cats
- Andrew Lloyd Weber
- My memories
- Idris Elba Evil
- When does milk go rotten?
- Oversized doorknobs for home renovation
- Does Katy Perry still hate Taylor Swift?
- Do adult mice eat their children?
- What is Judi Dench doing right now?
Ironically, Cats fulfills or answers all of my common searches, handing over a gigantic fur ball of goodness, with a sheen that the musical has never before seen in its hundred plus years in society, delivering a completely new take on the original material and generating more buzz about Cats than any of us would have ever expected this far out from what Lloyd Weberians call “C Day” or, zero-hour when the musical first premiered.
I am clearly so excited for this movie that I just wrote the above paragraph like the movie 1917 — one stream of consciousness without edits, punctuation or more than one period.
But I digress.
There have been many movies that premiered to horrible notices, scathing reviews and just plain mean-spirited critical noise. From Apocalypse Now to Fight Club to Cabin Boy. The movie landscape is littered with movies that the public and critics did NOT understand (including Star Wars, mind you) when it first hit theaters, only to become huge successes in the home video or on demand market. And while we are currently existing in a space where the majority of those critics are lambasting the glory that is Cats, I am confident that all their attempts to silence the meow of success will be overturned when society reaches a point where the significance of what Hooper has done here, comes full circle.
I would like to provide my own list of adjectives to describe the glorious Cats, so that when society finally catches up to the genius that is Tom Hooper and Rebel Wilson, I will be considered a modern day movie Nostradamus. Here:
Cats is an…inspiring, unabashedly sweet, musically-daring, groundbreaking CGI-feast for the eyes… Cats is The Kings Speech on adrenaline… It is The Danish Girl but with cats instead of girls… It is Les Miserables without the miserable, depressing, dirt-stained moments of despair. Cats is a rollicking, hilarious, fly by the seat of your pads kind of time. It is for those of us who simply want to sink into our seats, relive the glory that is Andrew Lloyd Weber’s genius, and experience what it is like to do LSD without ever having to do LSD.
Cats is good. It really is. Most people just can’t see the forest from the trees.
So when you peruse a review that reads Cats the riot act, or tells you it’s not worth your time, go back and look at your own Google search queries and decide for yourself the kinds of things you want to see in a movie. Once you do, I’m confident you’ll realize that Cats is for you. It’s for your family. And it’s Tom Hooper’s best.
Because one’s best is often the most challenged, most hated, most vilified creative vision. And in this case…that is exactly what Cats is.
Two paws up, people. Two…paws…up.