I was one of the dozens of Americans afflicted by the Cats movie this weekend. I entered a local cinema on Friday night one person and I emerged a completely different, more horrific person: One with a human face and actual human hands and feet and a digital fur body and no genitalia whatsoever but a human uniboob. It’s been a journey. The original premise of this article was “The Top 10 Questions I Have After Cats” until I realized that I have nothing but questions. My whole life is questions now, and an unending, high-pitched “meowwww?”
In my 48th straight hour of being awake, a wild thought washed over me like milk pouring out of a spigot at my local neighborhood Milk Bar: What if, like Rebel Wilson’s second cat skin, all the answers were inside me? All I had to do was literally unzip my actual skin to the deep consternation of everyone around me, and I’d be free. So, that’s what I did. Herewith: every answer you need about this fever dream of a film. I should note: To preserve the integrity and accuracy of these answers, I have consulted with no one associated with the film and done no googling. It’s the Jellicle choice.
Fact #1: Tom Hooper is the first person to direct a big budget film from prison, where he is serving a life sentence for allowing Russell Crowe to sing “Stars” in Les Mis.
Every week, Dame Judi Dench and Jason DeRulo would visit Hooper in Alcatraz and, through the thick glass in the visiting room, show him iPhone video footage of the two of them rolling around and meowing in Dench’s living room. Hooper would give them notes for the following week, which they would consistently ignore.
Fact #2: Well, actually, Cats does have a plot.
Many people complain that Cats is unintelligible because the premise is, “Cats show up from nowhere, do horny stuff, sing, one of them dies” as if this isn’t also the plot of Moulin Rouge. It’s also a very basic reading of the text, I’m afraid. In truth, Cats is about Judi Dench Cat (a character named Yung Dumbledore, I believe), running a sex cult that requires a ritual sacrifice of an Oscar winner to continue. A close viewing of the film (third row of the theater and forward) reveals that Yung Dumbledore appears out of the mists wearing a pristine fur coat, offers no evidence of her powers, and spends the last two minutes of the film talking directly to the camera trying to indoctrinate the audience. Real cult leader stuff.
Fact #3: Jennifer Hudson’s wardrobe comes directly from the 1980s television series Dynasty.
Hudson insisted on paying homage to the late, great Diahann Carroll by wearing a sparkly black and silver gown first worn by Carroll in an April 1984 episode of Dynasty underneath a gigantic fur coat Hudson borrowed from a drag queen friend named Diahann Carroll Channing Tatum O’Neil Armstrong. This is all true.
Fact #4: Rebel Wilson did not appear in this movie.
Many people will insist they saw Rebel Wilson spread-eagled like Velma Kelly in “Cell Block Tango,” then biting the human heads off dancing cockroaches. That scene actually isn’t in the film. Anyone who says it was is, unfortunately, mistaken. Wilson was interested in being in the movie but was busy filming a Pride & Prejudice remake in which she plays all the characters.
Fact #5: Munkustrap’s primary goal is starting a thrupple-type situation, but he is constantly thwarted by Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer.
I mean, I think we all knew this. Robbie Fairchild plays a character named Munkustrap, who narrates the film and repeatedly poses—implicitly and explicitly— the question, “Do you want to bang this cat?” It’s such a compelling question, in fact, that the filmmakers prefer you do not refer to Munkustrap by his character name but rather by the nickname “Hot Cat” or “Zaddy Cat” or “Very f-able ineffable cat.” Anyway, the happy ending is that that cat is now in a poly relationship with Mr. Mistoffelees and Victoria, the new cat. This is all in the film.
Fact #6: Did you know the tap-dancing railway cat looks like this???!
This cat really puts the 🚂 in 🍆 🍆 🍆💦🚂 👻, right?
Fact #7: Idris Elba’s coat got lost on set midway through filming and they hoped no one would notice.
Wild story. It’s possible Sir Ian McKellen was playing a prank, but it’s unclear. All anyone knows is that one day, Idris showed up to film and get into his costume, which included a green full-body mo-cap suit (colloquially known as meow-cat suit), a hat, and a long overcoat, but on that day, the coat was gone. Taylor Swift paused in the middle of buckling her character shoes and phoned Alcatraz to ask for Tom Hooper’s guidance. “Just put him in the movie nude!” shouted Hooper, pausing in the middle of a prison riot about which version of The Wild Party is best. Hooper was very dismayed to find, however, that Universal spent $1 billion digitally erasing penises from the film. “That’s not what nude means!” he shouted from atop a huge scrum in the Alcatraz prison yard.
Fact #8: Cats takes place in the same universe and at the same time as 28 Days Later.
The shot of the empty street underneath Big Ben gives it away. All the humans are dead. Soon: zombies.
Fact #9: New couple alert!!! Judi Dench and Jason DeRulo!
Couple name: DenchRulo. It really Rulos off the tongue, don’t you think?
Fact #10: Cats is 90% reaction shots.
This is the most impressive feat of all. Here, you try it: Turn to a blank wall and pretend it’s Jennifer Hudson nose-crying and react! Not easy to do, is it? Acting, it turns out, is very hard. Which is why most experts are correctly predicting that Jason DeRulo will win his first two Oscars for his work in the film.
Fact #11: I paid $10 for seven (7) fried macaroni and cheese bites at the movie theater. There was no dipping sauce with the bites. It was just seven globs of mac and cheese, fried, in a little plastic container that was too big for them. I do not regret this.
No follow-up needed here.
Fact #12: Producers alerted theaters that they will be sending a “digital patch” (a made-up term) to correct some visual effects in the film.
This is actually true, as far as I can tell from doing no additional research. The digital patch replaces shots that included Judi Dench’s wedding ring (she and Jason DeRulo got married on set). It will also replace every other shot in the film with two episodes of the Garfield cartoon and a bootleg video of Donna Murphy in Hello, Dolly. Enjoy Cats with your family this holiday season!