If you’re going to take one thing away from A Street Cat Named Bob, it’s that if ever you find yourself unfortunate enough to be a homeless drug addict, then get a cat, because it’ll turn your life around.
And yes, you could argue that’s an overly simplistic point of view to take having watched this movie – based on a best-selling book – about the real life struggles of homeless drug addict James Bowen, but it is true to a large extent.
Before he took in Bob the Cat, James was just like any other homeless drug-addict busker; it was the cat that got his singing noticed and gave him the lift up to get himself out of the hole he was in. It also allowed him to thrive as a Big Issue seller to the detriment of his rivals because people wanted to buy it from the guy with the cat sat on his shoulder. If he didn’t have the cat, would he have been as successful a busker and Big Issue seller as he was? No. Sure, he might have managed to get back on his feet without Bob, but not to the point of having a best-selling book, a movie and an appearance on The One Show.
So get a cat, preferably a cute one who will happily sit on your shoulders and not move. And if not a cat, any crowd pleasing animal will do. A monkey with a fez and a set of cymbols might go down a treat, or a parrot who sings the songs with you. But don’t get a snake; those guys get a bad press even though they are simply trying to get by.
Oh, did you want to know if the movie was any good?
Well yes, it was. It’s basically a heart-warming and at times funny British drama that doesn’t get boring. If I had one criticism of it, it was that apart from a couple of minor setbacks that were immediately resolved, James faces no real adversity in the movie, and while that might have been true to his life from the point we pick his story up at, it made the whole thing seem a bit one-note.
But having said that, I enjoyed it.