The Weather Man

March 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

I’m an unapologetic fan of Nicolas Cage. That being said, I can still be objective when judging one of his films. Having said that, I really liked this movie, even though it pretty much was not well received. If I may go back into my memory, I believe a reason this film disappointed some viewers was the marketing campaign. From what I remember, the trailers lead people to believe that The Weather Man was a comedy about a weather man who gets abused by people that don’t like the weather he predicts. That’s not what this movie is at all. Sure, there are humorous moments but I wouldn’t classify it as a comedy. The Weather Man really is more of a heavy drama about a guy whom, while an every man, is incredibly complex and introspective.

Nicolas Cage plays David Spritzel, a local Chicago weatherman. Life has given him a pretty good beating. He is living in the shadow, somewhat, of his father, played by Michael Caine, whom was an award winning writer. As a local weather man, he is something of a disappointment to his father. His wife has left him. His young daughter is portly and has taken up smoking. His son is being groomed for sexual activity by his drug counselor. David, hoping to fix everything that has gone wrong, is mostly oblivious to all the problems his family is having. His father is dying from cancer. David’s catchphrase, or perhaps mission statement, is “I’ll figure this all out.” There is a certain sense of urgency that we hope to see him figure it all about people time is running out for all the people he cares about. David believes that getting the weather man job on Hello America! will make everyone happy. He tries really hard to fix things but habitually messes up.

The part with the bow, which was on the movie poster and all over the trailers, is mostly a subplot. His daughter expresses a mild interest in archery at one point. He takes her for lessons but she gives up right away. As an outlet to his frustrations and a lame attempt to bond with his daughter, he becomes better at it. At no point does he threaten someone who throws a soda at him with the bow and arrow. Yet, the marketing campaign lead you to believe that this was a major part of the movie. Symbolically, it adds some subtext that helps build the main character. But if you believe the trailer, you would think you’re going to see a more light-hearten Falling Down but with a bow and arrow instead of guns. In no way was that The Weather Man. This was a very well made drama. At times it felt a lot like a prestigious indie film with a big time cast. There are many layers to the story and characters. There is no clear antagonist. The problems facing the main character are mostly of his own creation. You can see why his wife left him yet he is not an unlikable character. We aren’t really cheering for him to get the girl because the ship has sailed on that and only David doesn’t know it.  But we are cheering for him to help out his kids. His daughter is incredibly unhappy and no one likes to see a young girl moping around. His son is in a dangerous situation where he is getting taken advantage of. We can tell David’s unhappy and wants to make his dad proud of him.  So we do want to see this character succeed but instinctively we know that the Hello America! job won’t fix his problems.

Without spoiling the film, The Weather Man is a movie I highly recommend. It’s unconventional, well made, well acted, well written. By all accountes its a really good movie. I don’t know if I would call it one of my favorites. I’m not sure I’d watch it casually with friends. But its worth watching at least once. Particularly if you a fan of Nicolas Cage.


Entry filed under: Drama. Tags: , , , , , , .

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