The Weather Man

by Alan Rapp on October 28, 2005

in Movie Reviews 

Who doesn’t want to see Nicholas Cage get pelted with food?  The Weather Man is an enjoyable, if somewhat uneven character study of a man who rules the world on green screen, but who’s life is falling apart off camera.

The Weather Man
3 & 1/2 Stars

The Weather Man is an intriguing little piece of cinema.  It has wondrous, hysterical, moving, and thought provoking moments and yet the film is somehow less than all the great pieces put together.  It’s a hard movie for me to review, because so much of it I enjoyed, and yet not all of it fits together as well as I’d like.  It’s definatly worth taking a look at, and it’s one of those movies that will become highly quotable, yet I left feeling like it was just slightly unfinished.

“People throw stuff at me sometimes”

David Spritz (Nicholas Cage) is on the fast track to success.  He works as the weather man for a local Chicago affiliate and has a good chance to snag the national job on hugely popular morning program with Bryant Gumbel (playing himself).

Yet with all this success David is unhappy.  He is separated from his wife Noreen (Hope Davis), who is dating a dildo named Russ (Michael Rispoli), and alienated from his two kids, Mike (Nicholas Hoult) and Shelly (Gemmenne de la Pena), who are both sliding into unhappy lives of their own.  David is also dealing with the poor health of his father Robert (Michael Cane) who is the paragon of success that David has never been able to measure up to his entire life.

Also for some reason David is not well liked by a portion of the viewing audience.  In fact many of them enjoy throwing food at him as he sits in his car or is walking down the street.  Why you ask?  David wonders to, and has many theories on why people would throw an apple pie or Big Gulp at him.

One of the strengths of the film is the inner monologue of David; the movie has the feel of a novel in that way.  It gives us insight to how the character sees himself and his relationships, understanding why he does some of the, well kinda’ insane, things he does.  We also get to hear the wild thoughts and tangents that David’s mind goes through which give us some of the best lines of the film.

The performances are very good all the way around.  David is the most normal character Cage has played in some time, and because it is Cage who we’ve seen do odd things on film before it makes it easy to buy some of David’s odd behavior.  I was also happily surprised to see Gil Bellows in a surprising turn for the guy I still think of as Billy from Ally McBeal.  Caine is great as usual, and the kids, especially de la Pena, hold their own against this great cast.

I obviously enjoyed the film, so why do I have reservations?  Well there is really too much happening; too many different little stories are all being told at the same time.  We’ve got Mike and the counselor, Shelly and her fashion driven nickname (though the scene with Cane telling Cage about the situation is superb), David and Noreen trying to get back together, Noreen and her boyfriend Russ, trips to the archery range, the new job opportunity, the ailing health of David’s father, the food scenes, David’s dialogues with the meteorologist and his “fans.”  It would make a really interesting novel, but there’s just too much here to fit into less than two hours of time.  Many of the stories get short changed because there just isn’t enough time to explore them all.

Moments of perfection, yet stretched out and jammed together into such a short space, give the result of a good movie that you just know with the proper editing could have been great.  It’s worth seeing, and my biggest complaint is so much of what is good is wasted and never fully realized.  What we get is somewhat uneven, but enjoyable and a rather interesting look at the life of The Weather Man.

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