The HBO channels are free this weekend on DirecTV, and in looking through the listings, I discovered that “Garfield: The Movie” was showing on MoreMax, so out of curiosity, I set the TiVo.
As it turns out, this movie is worse than you can possibly imagine. I couldn’t get past 10 minutes, which means I didn’t even see Jennifer Love Hewitt. What is in the first 10 minutes is Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle microwaving a round plastic container of “Hash in a Dash” for breakfast — a container and a food that are pretty much indistinguishable from Garfield’s liver-flavored cat food, so I’m sure you can imagine the hilarity that is supposed to have ensued. Then Garfield goes outside and has some wacky misadventures with Nermal, who is a Siamese cat in the movie but the “world’s cutest kitten,” a gray tabby, in the comic strip. Now, cats that are a mixture of Siamese and gray tabby tend to be as cute as can be, but surely the filmmakers didn’t set out to specifically remind everyone of my cat; obviously, the problem was that they couldn’t get their hands on a well-trained gray tabby, just a well-trained Siamese. This is because while Garfield is completely a CGI creation so that he can look vaguely like he does in the comic strip, all the other animals in the film only have CGI applied to their faces when they’re talking, so it’s completely creepy and strange.
Then we are led to believe that there is a dairy that delivers old-fashioned bottles of milk to homes that are within sight of the downtown Los Angeles skyline, and Garfield uses Nermal as a pawn as part of a Rube Goldbergian scheme to get some of that milk. After his drink, Garfield is none the worse for wear — he doesn’t start throwing up everywhere, unlike real cats.
Fortunately, “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back!)” appeared on HBO Family a little later — it has a few problems of its own, but it managed to get the bad taste of “Garfield” out of my mouth.