Picoreview: The Mitchells vs the Machines

Picoreview: Mitchells vs the Machines: did not finish

This was one of those I’d been meaning to get around to seeing because the reviews were so great, so I finally started it, and…half an hour in, I paused it, read the Wiki, and decided that yeah, no, it was not going to redeem itself and I didn’t need to finish watching it.

I 100% believe all the good reviews, honestly. The art style is fun, the animation is engaging, the characters are plausible, etc. It was subtly clear from what I watched that the lead character, Katie, is queer, but that wasn’t a major point or a point of conflict, it was just part of who she was. That was nice.

The film’s action plot is based around the latest iPhone being upgraded into an iRobot, which all immediately go off the rails and now they have to save the world, which, ok, that’s fine.

The film’s emotional plot revolves around Katie, 18ish and about to leave for college on the other side of the country, and her father, with whom she was very close as a child but has grown away from as he has, frankly, lost interest in her as she’s grown into a person of her own. I don’t feel like that’s a spoiler because it’s made really clear really early in the movie.

From here on out, however, there will be spoilers, because the thing that made it a DNF for me is a thing I really didn’t like and therefore want to talk about and it’s definitely a spoiler.




yeah ok it’s on you now

So the night before she leaves, during a messy conversation with her father, they accidentally break her computer. (It is an accident but it’s one precipitated by her father’s lack of interest in her work.) Her mother tells him he needs to fix this (not the computer, but the situation between him and Katie), because she doesn’t want their daughter to leave home and never come back.

So she gets up the next morning to go to the airport to fly from Michigan to California for school, and finds her parents packing the car with her stuff,

because her father cancelled her plane ticket so they could have a family road trip instead.

And he called the school who said it was ok, she could miss orientation, it wasn’t that important, so yay, let’s do this! Woo!

And her mother is like “heh, uh, well, your father went kinda rogue on this one, so, uh, this is what we’re doing!”

Her little brother, who is forgivable for this, wanted to be able to spend a little more time with Katie before she goes which is essentially why she agrees to it,

and that sucks.

All of it. Everything about it sucks. The emotional manipulation sucks. Her mother’s refusal to tell her dad that he’s being a giant asshole sucks. And her father cancelling the plane ticket is absolutely unforgivable, as far as I’m concerned. It’s up there with Amy burning Jo’s book, and Dean burning Emily’s. It’s unforgivable.

And as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing the story can do that will walk that back. Not for me as a viewer. I understand they’ll find peace as characters bc that’s what they’re supposed to do, and I read the wiki plot summary so I know that her dad gave up his dream of living like a hippie in the woods to get a real job and provide for his family so we’re supposed to feel sorry for him and understand that he’s worried about Katie’s ability to follow her own dreams because he had to give up his, and that’s supposed to make it All Okay.

Well, it doesn’t, and now I wish I’d just gone on thinking “Oh, I should watch that someday!” instead of actually watching it and being disgusted by it. :p