For decades now, writers, much like me (and I use the association loosely) have sat motionless with pencil in hand, staring at the blank pages of their journals, or with hands levitated ever so slightly, over the keys of their mechanical typewriters, or aglow, bathing in the blue light of their computer screens, desperately searching for the inspiration to write the next great comedy, heart-felt romance, crime drama, suspenseful horror, or political satire that audiences will love. And then there are writers who simply wake up, take a sip of coffee, crack their knuckles, and furiously pump out page after page of scripts involving talking cats! In fact, Hollywood has a strange fascination with storylines involving felines, both in the anthropomorphic sense and animals with narrated or voiced-over roles. While some of the movies are charming and successful, most are painful to watch and ultimately furr-gettable. Take for example, the aptly-titled 2014 film A Talking Cat!?! which had a budget of (Dr. Evil voice) one million dollars and starred Eric Roberts, you read that right, in the title role, as the voice of Duffy the talking cat. The plot is summarized as follows: “A sassy feline helps a family resolve its problems.” The movie, however, had some real problems of its own and garnered abysmal reviews as well as hilarious comments on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. It’s surprising that Hollywood after licking its wounds from the aforementioned flop, would again entertain a feline feature: hiring actors, scouting locations, erecting sets, catering meals from Craft Services, and begin shooting a movie centering around the exploits of a chatty cat. Well, I hate to be the one to let the cat out of the bag, but there’s a bigger catastrophe coming this summer starring Juilliard trained actor, Kevin Spacey, America’s newest sweetheart Jennifer Garner and Team NF’s own Christopher Walken.
Looks purr-fect, huh? If you’re like me, you can already see that this movie is going to be an utter failure at the box-office. The film rehashes the same old worn-out plotline of some self-centered person, in this case Spacey, a successful workaholic dad, being transformed into something, i.e. a cat, in order to “learn a lesson” about what is truly valuable in life only to be re-animated back to the original form right on cue, ending with the hugs, kisses, and all the feels, followed by the rolling of credits and such. While the script is horrible, the idea of having Kevin Spacey voice a cat isn’t a bad idea. He’s a terrific actor, as evidenced by his roles in: Glengarry Glen Ross, The Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential, American Beauty and the television series House of Cards where he plays the manipulative and evil sociopath and President of the United States, Frank Underwood. The improvidence of the writers is simply unbelievable and more importantly it’s a wasted opportunity to take something and make it meta! Take the aforementioned Netflix original series House of Cards. The show is widely successful and has a cult-like following, so why not take that exquisite blueprint and create the greatest talking cat film ever made, called Mouse of Cards? I can envision the tag line now, “Two Terms, Nine Lives!” IAMS already excited, how ’bout you?
The parallels between our domesticated feline friends and Underwood are uncanny. They are both cold, calculating and ruthless. Not convinced? I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way a cat could be POTUS. Well, you’re probably right with the Constitution and all, but isn’t that what amendments are for? Who says a cat can’t hold the highest office in the land? Perhaps you didn’t realize Kentucky currently has a cat by the name of Limberbutt McCubbins who is actually seeking the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination. In addition to that revelation, in one of the more stunning technological advancements in the modern age, scientists have now developed a device which will change the way millions of people communicate with the feline world.
No more voice-overs, no more fake CG mouths, I give you, the Catterbox, the world’s first talking cat collar, able to translate a cat’s meows into human language. Now that’s enough to make a cat laugh. Is the Catterbox furr-real? I’m not entirely sure, but imagine the possibilities. Mouse of Cards could star an entire clowder of cats, dressed in tiny human clothes, wearing hidden Catterboxes, voiced by none other than the entire cast of House of Cards. Hollywood blockbusters, like their feline friends are a fickle beast, some are mega-hits, while others like Nine Lives, will be epic-failures. If studios are looking for another breed of cat, and willing to pounce on my idea, consider me available.