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Helen O’Hara’s “Cloudy” Barely Qualifies as an Hors D’oeuvre

In response to Helen OHara’s 99‑word review of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on Empire Magazine

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At 99 words long, Helen O’Hara’s “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2” is not so much a review as a delivery mechanism for a movie poster pull quote. There is no real criticism here, only a bald-faced attempt to put as positive a spin as possible on the film in order to provide it some P. R. disguised as objective opinion.

The review is so small, in fact, that it gets lost among a sea of text and images. Blink and you might miss it. But then again, you would not be missing much.

What is odd is that there a section called “Plot” preceding the review, and yet there is still plot recap in the review itself. With such a short word count, it seems like O’Hara would have been better served reserving the plot for the Plot section and leaving more room in the Review section for, you know, the review.

As if in tacit acknowledgement that the review itself is not enough, there is then also a Verdict section directly afterward that spells out O’Hara’s “opinion” on the film *Meta-spoiler alert* She thinks it’s just fantastic!

The rave review would be fine, of course, if it came across as even remotely genuine. Sadly, though, Cloudy is anything but. It’s a cynical attempt to appeal to a select audience by being as uncritical of the film as possible.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation