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The Weather Man Review

The Weather Man: More than Fast Food

                In the new dramedy The Weather Man, director Gore Verbinski and star Nicolas Cage team up in an enjoyable story telling the tale of Chicago weatherman Dave Spritz (Cage), as he questions his life and how he effects the lives of those around him. Early in the film, the viewer learns that “Hello America,” a popular national morning show based out of New York, is recruiting to fill the role of weatherman on the show, and Dave is on the list of possibilities. He begins to think about what getting this job could mean. He thinks of how a move to New York could be a nice opportunity for his son, Mike (Nicholas Hoult), who was recently busted for marijuana use, to start over and also for Shelly (Gemmenne de la Peņa), his younger daughter, who is starting to get into bad situations of her own. It could also be a chance to try and re-new the relationship between him and his ex-wife Noreen (Hope Davis). These thoughts, along with others, are told in a voice-over/inner-monologue style and is a big part of how the viewer will learn about how the weatherman got to the place he is in in life. As Dave Spritz struggles to parent his children, his father Robert Sprtizel (Michael Caine), offers tidbits of advice such as, “Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing?” and, “‘Easy’ doesn’t enter into grown-up life.” Even though Dave Spritz has trouble with his personal life, he admits that he has an easy job. The only problem with his job are the people that recognize him outside of the off his office. There are people who come up to him asking for the weather and the “Spritz Nipper,” a term Dave uses for the coldest day of the week; there are also people who throw fast food at Dave. The people who throw food, while being some of the funniest moments in the film, sadly may be the reason that The Weather Man may be over-looked or under-appreciated.

            Most people who viewed the trailers of The Weather Man get the impression that the movie is just about a weatherman who gets hit with fast food. While this aspect of the film is well spread throughout the movie and remains funny without getting repetitive, it had very little to do with the whole plot. The Weather Man is a very good story of questioning oneself and having trouble handling the two worlds of your life, the personal and the professional. Very true to real life in the sense that not all people have one traumatic problem weighing them down, instead, The Weather Man shows David Spritz having to deal with the many small problems that life throws at you. Steve Conrad’s script is falsely advertised as a very funny work and is more of a dramatic piece with comedic inserts. The execution is well done and gets just about as much out of this story as it can.

            What shines during the movie are two very strong performances, those of Nicolas Cage as David Spritz and Michael Caine as Robert Spritzel. Nicolas Cage embodies the role of depressed and nervous successful man again, just as he did in The Family Man, and does it to perfection. Just in his facial expressions there is an energy that can be picked up of trying to mask his true feelings. He changes the way he carries himself depending on who he’s around and where he is as and as his complications begin to build up. And when the Cage character, Dave, is unsure, his father Robert Spritzel is there to assist him. Robert Spritzel, who is a Pulitzer Prize winning author, managed to be a great father to Dave and since Dave also is successful, he feels his situation is similar to his father’s, however he is having a much more difficult time coping with it. Michael Caine has an all-knowing, looking out for the best character that he plays very well and does in The Weather Man. Both actors nailed the part and from the praise they’ve received may have a shot at an Oscar nomination later this year.

            At the end of it all, The Weather Man is a bittersweet piece without being miserable. The advertisements are misleading and will likely cause the audience to not expect the resulting film. A good film, with a couple standout performances, that sadly may be over looked. The Weather Man gets 8/10.


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