Yup. “Based On a True Story” movies are the way to go. Best way to ensure minimal Hollywood BS. (Keyword: minimal.)
This movie addresses some tough topics but I think all ages can see it. Any negative components can be portrayed as a PSA against drug use. And since this was based on the book by a real recovered homeless drug attic, it’s realistic! No crap about how everyone on the street is a saint who can’t afford to eat. And as someone who’s spent a good portion of his adult life on the streets, or in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I can also vouch for its accuracy. Granted, it’s still a movie so they embellish and add some cheesy melodrama, but that’s to be expected. Without the snippets of soap opera dialogue and cat trainer action scenes, then this would be just some depressing indie flick. Instead, it allows for the whole family to enjoy it.
Anyways, back to the junkie stuff. A big theme of the film is something you hear in the 12 step programs quite a lot:”Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.” Basically, pray for others and try to live for your loved ones first and foremost. And even though it’s counterintuitive, you will find that you get more than you could have ever dreamed of if you trust in a higher power and go down that path. Stop trying to do things your way, go one step at a time, and it’ll all work out. Lucky for you, though, you can appreciate that sentiment and life lesson through the eyes of a cat instead of having to hear a bunch of divorced middle-aged men chant their slogans at you. 😛
Speaking of which, a good portion of the film was spent switching the camera to show the point of view of the cat. Ironically, the use of a POV camera angle without a human voice over allowed for a heavier anthropomorphization and deeper connection between cat and audience. Just like real pets, nothing can compete with our own projected emotions/thoughts. Whenever the script calls for a voice actor, it’s a constant subconscious reminder that you’re watching trained animals chasing food while people in a studio talk. Not with this one, though. There’s quite the profound bromance between protagonists, and you can’t help but get caught up in it.
As for political elements, this was very apolitical. The love interest is a hippie vegan type and someone makes a brief joke at the expense of Rupert Murdoch. Completely innocent and ignorable, IMHO.
Watch this movie, and pay to do so!