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"The Mitchells Vs The Machines"

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Dog! Pig! Dog! Pig! Loaf of bread! One stab! This Netflix movie barely made me want to stab my eyeballs out of behalf of its female characters! It's a total fun, goofy, sweet romp cross-country for the Mitchell family, as they drive from Michigan to California to deliver their daughter to college...and along the way, save the entire planet. Great voice work by Abbi Jacobson (Broad City), Maya Rudolph (SNL, Bridesmaids, Away We Go), Olivia Colman (The Crown, The Lobster, The Favourite), Danny McBride (a buncha stuff- writer, producer, actor), and a thousand other fun cameos. It's written by one of the main writers of Gravity Falls, which makes sense because we love that, too (it's Mike Rianda, who also hilariously voices the little brother, Aaron).

The central conflict starts with the dad and daughter not seeing eye-to-eye on her dreams of film school and how she and the whole family use technology. There's sweetness and coming together and learning how to breach generational and cultural differences, but mostly there are just hilarious, oddball jokes and creative conflicts/solutions. It's so fun. One of those movies our kids love that we don't mind watching with them/hearing in the background a bazillion times. Also, one of the leads is identified as LGBTQIA and it's just par for course, not a conflict or anything to be solved, just one of the many parts of her fully-flushed character.

My only half-cocked feminist eyebrow was raised when the mom (Ms. Rudolph) is coming out of her sweet cocoon as a fierce ninja warrior who's saving them all, and she shouts, "I am Linda Mitchell, mother of two!" and thas' it. Every time I hear it, I keep thinking she's about to say more. It's nit-picky, maybe, but the fact that this character is a minor one compared to the husband's, an accessory and secondary player, bugs me. She revealed earlier that she's a first-grade teacher, so we already know she can handle some shit, her showing up like a beast for her family should come as no surprise. We get no back story on her otherwise, she's just nice and there for them all. That makes me a little stabby, but overall, loving this film.


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