There’s something about bad movies that just pull me in. By now you’ve heard that Cats rivals Battlefield Earth as the worst movie of all time. That’s enough of a draw for me to spend a few hours in constant confusion wondering wtf a “jellicle” is.
I must admit, I know nothing about Cats, the musical. I only know it is still crazy popular on Broadway (I later read it won 7 Tonys) and VH1 had Barbra Streisand’s version of “Memory” on heavy repeat back in the day. This was the Hamilton of the 1980s.
Either this movie is absolutely nothing like the play, or there is some hidden drinking game with Cats to keep people coming back. The plot (what there is of it) is a confusing mess and not a single character has any arc to speak of. Imagine your favorite movie and think of those beginning 10 – 15 minutes where all of the characters are introduced. Cats is that, stretched to two hours. It’s a steady stream of new, cat stereotypes that come out to sing a song and then disappear into the background while our protagonist shares the same confused expression you have on your face.
There is one, special characteristic of this movie that made it get so much attention. The bad special effects. Words cannot describe how awful everything looks. After the theatrical release, it needed a software patch to fix some of the missing fur on the actors. But the characters are just some sort of weird, furry fever dream that you sort of get used to (or in to, for some of you). The backgrounds are the worst offenders. Everything looks like a flat, badly lit painting so everyone looks like they are dancing in front of a green screen in a basement. It’s all like a bad photoshop from Furry Instagram.
If there’s one positive, it’s that you get to listen to Jennifer Hudson sing “Memory”. But now that I know the context of that song, Andrew Lloyd Weber makes This Is Us seem reserved and subtle.
If you like bad movies, well, I guess you need to watch the worst. Or if you’re clued into whatever drinking game the kids are into, let me know.