Film / A Talking Cat!?!

Phil: You can talk? But only once?
Duffy: I don't make the rules, Phil.

A Talking Cat!?! (yes, with that exact punctuation) is a 2013 film about... a talking cat who helps a couple families with their problems.

Duffy (Eric Roberts) is a stray cat with the ability to talk to any person once, but only once. When he comes across Phil (Johnny Whitaker), a respected programmer who's recently entered retirement, and Susan (Kristine DeBell), a caterer who's trying to keep her business and family together, he decides to help them and their families. Hilarity Ensues.

Made on a budget of $1 million, note  the film features amateurish camera, sound and special effects and Eric Roberts sounds like he's recording his lines through a crappy cellphone in a public bathroom. Nathan Rabin called it "The Room of talking animal movies starring Eric Roberts" and wondered "where the other $990,000 went". This film could also double as how NOT to make a movie.

A Talking Cat!?! provides examples of:

  • Alan Smithee: Director David DeCoteau is credited as "Mary Crawford", the name he uses in all of his family-friendly films.
  • Call a Computer a "Beeping-Machine"
  • Camp Straight / Ambiguously Gay: Chris and Trent. This IS a David DeCoteau film after all.
  • Cats Are Snarkers
  • Covers Always Lie: The cat on the cover is not the cat in the movie. Its the same breed, but the one on the cover is clearly a kitten while the one in the movie is an adult cat (and a little bit fat).
  • Deus ex Machina: Duffy's magic collar suddenly has healing powers
  • Excited Show Title!: Questioning Title? Excited Show Title!
  • Fanservice: Trent teaching Chris to swim. Two handsome guys? Check. Shirtlessness? Check. A pool? Check. Not so subtle gayness? Check.
  • Inaction Sequence: One of the hosts of the Tranquil Tirades podcast actually sat through and timed how much of the run time was taken up by stock footage establishing shots and shots of Duffy the Cat doing nothing, and he determined that literally 30% of the movie's 83-minute run time was taken up by absolutely nothing happening. (And even more frightening—none of that includes the many, many sequences of characters taking long walks up stairs, down halls, meandering around aimlessly, traipsing around kitchens, etc.
  • Man Child: Phil, who cheerfully plays with a car and makes car noises.
  • The Matchmaker: Duffy the Cat gets two couples together (Frannie and Chris) and (Phil and Susan).
  • Meet Cute: Attempted and failed. Kinda played straight (in the loosest sense of the word "straight") with Chris and Trent.
  • Mirror Monologue: By Phil.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Duffy's collar.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Played loudly on a electronic keyboard and incessantly repeated. The song "La Cucaracha" in particular is recognizable.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Tina and Trent.
  • Stock Footage: Several shots of empty rooms, house exteriors, and surrounding woodlands and wildlife, which director David DeCoteau inserts and reuses in most all his movies filmed in these same locations. All told, there are 59 establishing shots in this 83-minute movie, and none of them have any logical place in the context of the film.
  • The Unfavourite: Tina's an interesting example in that she's actually the overachiever compared to her brother.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Eric Roberts as Duffy the Cat. Special points for his "nom nom nom" noises when the cat eats.
  • A Wizard Did It: Apparently, a previous owner of Duffy's gave him a magic collar, which is how he's able to speak. It also revives him from serious injury.