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Overall Rating
3.31

Awesome: 13.79%
Worth A Look34.48%
Average: 32.76%
Pretty Bad: 6.9%
Total Crap: 12.07%

6 reviews, 22 user ratings


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Weather Man, The
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by Peter Sobczynski

"The weather isn't the only gloomy thing here"
3 stars

Paramount Pictures seems determined to sell “The Weather Man” as a straightforward comedy–the ads and posters all stress a minor running joke involving the lead character being pelted on the streets with various fast-food treats by passers-by. That may be the easiest way to sell this film to the masses but it certainly isn’t the most accurate and I have the feeling that a lot of people who go to see the film expecting two hours of wacky hijinks are going to be mighty disappointed to discover that the film is really a dour dramedy that is centered one of the most depressing people ever to find themselves as the focus of a major studio film and uncompromisingly details the ways in which he inadvertently hurts and disappoints everyone around him.

The film is about David Spritz (Nicolas Cage), a locally-famous weatherman who seems like the picture of professional success (aside from the occasional Slurpee pelting from someone upset over an incorrect forecast) but who is a mess in his personal life. He has recently endured a bitter divorce from wife Noreen (Hope Davis), his kids are messed up–his son (Nicholas Hoult) is struggling with various addictions and his daughter (Gemmenne de la Pena) is a sullen and overweight loner–and he feels as if he is living in the shadow of his father (Michael Caine), a highly respected author. David strains to do his best but seems to have a self-destructive streak that negates his best intentions (to the point where forgetting to pick up tarter sauce is the final straw that leads to his divorce) and when he gets an offer to go to New York to become the weatherman on a morning network show, there is the distinct possibility that all involved would actually be better off in the long run if he does indeed pack up and leave.

With its blend of sentiment and satire told in a seriocomic tone, “The Weather Man” feels at times like a more moderate version of the similar “American Beauty.” On the one hand, it never sinks to the depths that film hit during its final reels but on the other, it never quite hits the high notes that it reached as well. Not much happens dramatically during the film, a decided change-of-pace for director Gore Verbinski after the likes of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Ring,” and while there are a lot of nice individual scenes, they never really tie together in a fully satisfying way. Where the film does work, however, is in the lead performances. With his funny and touching work here, in conjunction with his equally striking work in “Lord of War,” it seems as if Nicolas Cage has rediscovered the acting spark that seemed to disappear when he started making high-concept action junk and Hope Davis more than makes up for her shrill turn in “Proof” with her marvelous turn here. Best of all is Michael Caine as David’s father–he is a wise and quiet presence throughout and is able to convey a full lifetime of love and exasperation towards his son in only a few words and the result is one of the finest performances of a long and distinguished career.

I’m not quite sure about whether I can honestly recommend “The Weather Man” or not. On the one hand, it can be dreary and downright painful to watch at times, there are too many plot tangents (including an especially unpleasant one involving the son and his creepy counselor) and the slapsticky moments clash uneasily with the more somber material (the fast-food pelting gets old really fast). On the other, certain scenes (such as the aforementioned one involving the tartar sauce) contain real moments of truth and insight while the three central performances are all strong and impressive. If you have read this review and think that the premise sounds intriguing, you might actually get something out of the film. If, on the other hand, you want to go on the assumption that it is 100 minutes of kookiness, you might want to find something else to see this weekend

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13443&reviewer=389
originally posted: 10/28/05 14:35:50
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User Comments

12/09/12 Joe Smaltz turned it off, bored, needed something stimulating 2 stars
6/21/08 PAUL SHORTT A BLEAK, MESSY MIDLIFE CRISIS DRAMA AS UNSURE OF ITSELF AS A WEATHER FORCAST 1 stars
1/09/08 Servo Cought me off guard, hughly recommended. 4 stars
8/24/07 Steve Newman Turned this off 60 minutes in - what a pile of crap. Slow, unfunny and boring 1 stars
7/06/07 Total Crap It's just so boring... 2 stars
6/10/06 Dan Quirky, funny movie. I enjoyed it (and I especially enjoyed the beer girl!) 4 stars
5/20/06 Christine Wilbik A very depressing movie and not up to Nicolas cage usual movies. 2 stars
4/23/06 Jim Interesting character study 4 stars
4/15/06 Indrid Cold Unusual and fairly interesting, but unfocused and ultimately, unsatisfying. 3 stars
4/04/06 Valerie Kind of strange, but still good. 4 stars
3/13/06 Monday Morning I'd like to throw Slurpees at everyone who was involved w/ this pc. of shite 2 stars
3/08/06 Tanya very good it seemed like a real family 4 stars
12/15/05 jerriprice Unbelievably bad 1 stars
11/15/05 Jeff Anderson A big letdown for Cage & Caine. Very depressing & it quickly goes nowhere. A REAL SHAME!! 1 stars
11/14/05 rob henie fantastic! 5 stars
11/09/05 jeff strange humour, cage's acting awsome as usual. 4 stars
11/06/05 Agent Sands A very engaging slice of life that shares my sense of humor & has a great tearworthy scen 5 stars
11/01/05 jcjs fne 4 stars
11/01/05 Beth Whittier Nicholas Cage is one of my favorite actors, but bad movie 1 stars
10/30/05 john john stone 1 stars
10/30/05 Elaine Hochbeg Once again, Chicago serves as a fine backdrop. Cage presents a stellar performance. 4 stars
10/27/05 tom dolfin bad movie. no redeeming social value. sucks 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-Oct-2005 (R)
  DVD: 21-Feb-2006

UK
  03-Mar-2006

Australia
  23-Mar-2006


Directed by
  Gore Verbinski

Written by
  Steven Conrad

Cast
  Nicolas Cage
  Michael Caine
  Hope Davis
  Michael Rispoli
  Gil Bellows
  Nicholas Hoult



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