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Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007)

Basically, I think the film's message is along the lines that you may find your better half (Remy is obviously Linguini's better half) in the strangest places. I love and laugh out loud, repeatedly, at the way that Remy controls Linguini by pulling his hair. It's physical slapstick as good as it gets and just about as good as anything the great silent clowns ever did. Another message is that humans and non-humans can relate equally as long as they respect each other, although I'm not sure how much Remy actually respects Linguini up front, after all there's not much there.

In general, I just love the storytelling ability of Brad Bird. He may have used the TV more effectively in The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, but it goes without saying that Bird likes to communicate info through TVs, especially primitive ones. His use of the floating TV here is a classic movie motif - it's Remy's mind remembering what he's already seen. The thing which appeals to me about Ratatouille is that there is so much going on that I cannot complain about most of it because I'm too busy enjoying it. Yes, Act III is the best. Does everyone notice that Ego looks like a character out of a Tim Burton flick, that his typewriter has a skull on it and that his "gothic room" is in the shape of a coffin? You can see that all in the scene where Ego learns that Gusteau's is now popular again.

As far as the romance is concerned, maybe it is underdeveloped, but it's certainly believable. Linguini seems to have almost no social skills, but you don't need social skills to be attracted to women in the workplace. It's just normal. Linguini has very little past and very little depth (except for what Remy gives him), so it's not surprising that he doesn't especially grow after he learns he's the offspring of Gusteau. However, he does use what he can do quite well in Act III. Linguini uses his skating prowess to serve everyone quite handsomely when Ego shows up. He also seems less-tongue-tied than normal. The last 25 minutes are the best. However, among my earlier, fave lines are "Let's toast to your non-idiocy!" and " I don't LIKE food. I LOVE it. If I don't love it, I don't SWALLOW".