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  • When I first saw the advertisements for "The Weather Man", it seemed like the movie was going to be another formulaic, feel good Hollywood redemption tale. In reality, it is a dark, scathing satire of American values. The marketing likely scared away a lot of people who would enjoy the film, while attracting an audience who was presented with something unexpected and perhaps uncomfortable. The comedy is quite raunchy, the tone is bleak, and the story is anything but formulaic, throwing industry conventions right out the window, which leads to a film that's more believable than most.

    David Spritz is a man whose life has become the ultimate exercise in futility. Each day, he wakes up and goes to a job that, despite paying a handsome salary, is entirely unfulfilling. His relationship with his ex-wife is strained, his relationship with his children distant. To make things worse, his Pulitzer Prize winning father seems to be disappointed in what David has done with his life.

    In real life, progress in one's personal life is generally made in baby steps. Usually, people don't undergo a drastic transformation over the course of several months. David attempts to improve his standing in life, at times failing entirely, at times succeeding in small doses. The results of these attempts range from very funny to downright saddening, and this helps lend the film an air of realism. This is a complicated character study about a man coming to grips with the fact that he's failed to meet any of the goals he set for himself in life, despite attaining a social standing that many people are envious of. There aren't any easy answers or life altering epiphanies; self-improvement is a long, gradual task that will probably never be completely fulfilled, and "The Weather Man" reflects this reality. While not for all tastes, this movie deserves credit for tackling a relatively conventional subject in a very unconventional, at least for a mainstream Hollywood movie, manner. I imagine that this film will be a bigger success overseas and on DVD than it will be in its US theatrical run.
  • I've thought long and hard before saying what I'm about to say. I've searched my memory for something to disprove it, but I can't think of anything. Here it is: The Weather Man, the new film directed by Gore Verbinski and written by Steve Conrad, is the most relentlessly pessimistic mainstream American film that I have ever seen. It seems to be telling us that over time you become a shell of the person you once were and a pathetic, ever decreasing fraction of the person you one day hoped to be. You will squander potential and become incapable of giving meaningful love to anyone that you care about. This doesn't happen as a result of some huge disaster or tragic mistake, no, this happens as a result of hundreds of minuscule failures every day. As you might imagine, this is excruciating to watch. But in creating one of bleakest portraits of contemporary American life you will ever see, Gore Verbinski also creates a film that is shockingly humane, funny, and beautiful.

    Nicolas Cage, who I don't always like, gives a fantastic performance as David Spritz, a Chicago TV weather man with no degree in meteorology. The thing that makes him great in The Weather Man is that he consistently plays the part in earnest. There's plenty of opportunities to ham it up or play it for laughs, especially because David acts like such an asshole so much of the time, but Cage never falls into those traps. One feels at every turn, no matter how disgraceful his behavior, that he's just a guy trying to do what seems right to him in that moment. At one point he drops his daughter off at his ex-wife's house. When his ex-wife, played with terrific subtly by Hope Davis, remains outside for a moment he suddenly decides to throw a snowball at her, which hits her in the face and cracks the lens of her glasses. Rather than playing it like it's funny, which it is, Cage seems like he's making a sincere attempt to connect with his former wife in any way he can.

    I wish with great passion that this film was truly great, but unfortunately it's just inches short. Nine out of ten times Verbinski hits the mark. From the very first shot he creates a perfectly executed world of an ice bound Chicago during the winter months. His most impressive feat though is managing to craft a film that is in some ways highly stylized, yet instinctually feels like the human experience. He has a wonderful and surprising sense of composition. One finds the characters in disconcertingly angular frames with vast expanses of empty space above their heads. In tandem with this he uses a fantastically chilly color scheme throughout. He also triumphs in his insistently measured pacing. In contrast with such a harsh statement about life, the pacing serves to lend the film a strange gentleness that allows for us to feel the characters are truly human. The pacing is absolutely vital and absolutely brave in a Hollywood film. Along with the performances, it makes one feel that the characters are being not being tortured out of gleeful spite on the part of the filmmakers, but out of profound empathy and understanding of our shared human weaknesses.

    Verbinski's trouble comes in just a few isolated areas; nevertheless they are important and significantly damage the film as a whole. The ugliest problem is a woefully ill-advised quasi dream sequence in which Nicholas Cage sees himself happy and well adjusted as the grand marshal of a parade. The whole thing is presented as if his hotel room window is like a TV on which he is seeing himself. It introduces us to no useful ideas and is an immensely distracting stylistic departure. I'm really puzzled by its inclusion in a movie that on the whole demonstrates a lot of restraint. Another issue is the handling of Cage's son, who gets himself involved in a weird molestation situation with his drug counselor. This subplot is painted in the broadest of strokes, rather than with the painstaking specificity one finds elsewhere. Every time we return to the plot with the son the film begins to feel bogged down and uncharacteristically unsure of itself. Some of the blame for this surely must be shared with Steve Conrad, the mostly solid writer of the film. One wonders why Conrad and Verbinski shy away from the unbending frankness they are generally so willing to dole out. There are a few other troubling mistakes, the blame for which I have to rest on both of their shoulders. Most notably the film relies too heavily on voice-over. While some of it works very well and all of it is delivered with sincerity from Cage, there is at least twice as much as is necessary. Similarly, there are a couple flashbacks that work, but just as many that are unneeded. Also, the handling of Cage's father, who is played with solemn dignity by Michael Cane, rings a little false. He is written as a noble and stalwart man devoid of any flaws not only in Cage's mind, but apparently in real life as well. On the whole this actually works much better than it should, but I can't help but feel that there's a note missing.

    The aforementioned issues aside, The Weather Man is a rare achievement and one of my favorite films of the year. It is so honest and so bleak that I can't believe that a major studio let it get made. In an industry where schlock and melodrama are passed off as great statements about us as humans The Weather Man is monumentally refreshing. I have nothing but respect for Verbinski and Conrad for having the nerve to make a film that on the one hand is crushingly negative, but on the other endlessly humane.
  • This movie was a great piece of social commentary on the emptiness of our current American culture. Being the weatherman appears to be a great job. It pays almost $300 Grand a year, and you can afford a nice apartment and a mansion for your beautiful blonde ex-wife and your two estranged children.

    A job as a weatherman, without a meteorological degree entails absolutely no challenges. You become lazy and bored, because you think you have everything. After all, isn't the entire purpose of life to make money, drive nice cars, and wear nice clothes, and eat out every night of the week? You are able to spoil your children, hence never teaching them the value of challenging themselves and depriving them of ever working toward a goal and feeling satisfied.

    This is what we think living is today in this country! We have no depth! We have toxic vocabulary, eat useless toxic food, we watch useless toxic entertainment, and we have completely useless jobs that create nothing. We wonder why our children have no idea what to do with themselves? Wealthy Americans, which most of us are by the standards of the world, have no skills, no integrity, and no character. The only things our children grow up knowing for sure, are what a Frosty is, and a Big Gulp. The gap between this generation and their grandparents is vast. Our elders worked hard at jobs which created the foundation of wealth and substance that we erode every day with our irresponsible selfish consumerist conduct. Mr. Spritz has no idea what a Big Gulp is, but he's dying of the cancer that eats this country.

    The Weatherman (Nicholas Cage) has a better time with himself, and everyone else as soon as he figures this out. Hilariously, he had to actually get hit in the head with a Big Gulp. We need to focus on the things that matter, take responsibility for our children, and ourselves. The one thing that I think was off in the movie was the line about how being an adult does not include the word easy. The big secret to life, is that when we do things the correct way, often the hard way, life actually gets easier, for everyone.

    I went to the theater expecting the usual vacuous Hollywood bomb. I was blown away with the power of this movie. On the way out, we asked a young man that was working the theater what he thought. He said that he thought The Weatherman was incredibly dark and very far fetched. I agree, our culture is dark and far fetched. The movie, however, was dead on. Our current life is a bubble about to burst. This movie offered a solution - find some meaning in your life and get after it. Pretending this vacuum doesn't exist, and that Jessica and Ashley Simpson are talented individuals worth our time and interest, is incredibly bleak to me. On the other hand, I was pretty sure this young man had no idea the scale of these problems. How could he, when he has never experienced anything else.
  • Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean X3, The Ring, The Mexican) has an uncanny way of moving strange characters through bizarre plots while maintaining our interest and our empathy. THE WEATHER MAN was so poorly promoted when it hit the theaters that it seemed like it was going to be one of those asinine food throwing slapstick comedies instead of the very serious examination of contemporary life in the big cities, or even more about the struggle of a disillusioned man who cannot find a balance between business success and family/marital failure, it is. This viewer almost ignored it completely - until the DVD.

    David Spritz (Nicholas Cage) is a TV pawn the station uses as a weatherman: he is untrained as a meteorologist, skilled only be his TV persona success dependent on a created gag/tag line - the Nipper (the peak worst day in the forecast). His personal life is a mess, separated from a disconsolate wife Noreen (Hope Davis), distanced from his successful writer father Robert (Michael Caine) and on shaky territory with his two children - fat and sad Sully (Gemmenne de la Peña) and sweet but troubled pothead Mike (Nicholas Hoult). To make life worse his TV persona follows him into the streets of blustery Chicago where his viewers either seek autographs invading his privacy or throw food at him as the progenitor of the lousy cold weather. This polarized existence is invaded by an offer to become weatherman on Bryan Gumbel's Hello America show in New York (a career jump for which he longs for many reasons), serial confrontations with his father whom he emulates but always feels a failure, the finding that his father has lymphoma, the ridicule of fat Shelly at school, Mike's edgy involvement with his drug counselor Don (Gil Bellows), and Noreen's new live-in Russ (Michael Rispoli). How David meanders through this quagmire of dilemmas is the story and while it is not pretty, it is pungent.

    Cage inhabits the strange role of David finding a way to make this loser with a short temper someone about whom we care. It is a tough assignment but Cage meets it on every level. Michael Caine provides some of the more eloquent moments in the film: his words of wisdom and view of life are the only grounded elements of the story. Likewise Hope Davis is fine as are the cameo roles of the children as sensitively played by de la Peña and Hoult. The subject of the film is tough and the excessive use of potty mouth language is overbearing and at times one wishes Verbinski would have edited some of the gross food slinging scenes.

    But as an overall message movie there is much here to admire. It simply is not the mindless slapstick the posters and trailers would indicate. The PR folks on this one blew it. Worth your time and attention. Grady Harp
  • The cusp of the dreaded mid-life crisis. The realization that life sucks either because you've removed the rose colored glasses or because you've been hit by one of life's ice balls. While at the point where you still believe in happy endings and hold on to the possibility that if one good thing happens everything else will fall into place.

    So the story begins...Dave Spritz is a Chicago weatherman. As the events of his life get worse he begins to put all his faith in a dream job in New York as a national weatherman. He believes this job will magically restore his failing marriage, his relationship with this kids and garner him the respect from his father (Michael Caine)he so desires.

    The ability to find humor in life's tragedies is an accomplishment that director, writer and cast can all be proud of. The comedy in this movie came just often enough to hold back the tears. It was a real life character study and of course Nicholas Cage and Michael Caine were absolutely superb.

    What makes the movie so wonderful is that it is based on premises we all know but often forget. 1)Money doesn't buy happiness. 2)The little things mean a lot. 3)To quote the film, "The hard thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing."
  • Thankfully Hollywood has made a movie that values our integrity and intelligence. Here is a film showing us that life is beautiful but challenging and requires a little bit of work to move through. Through its protagonist, we encounter daily frustrations of every type, from conjugal discord to simple dissatisfaction's with our everyday existence. Nicholas Cage might not have the extended range of performers like Penn or Brando, but he does competent work here. He earns our sympathy and our attention with some of the best work he has done recently.

    "The Weather Man" is an extended metaphor for what goes on in our lives every day. The film apparently didn't charm the pants off a few members of the audience when I saw it. It didn't have the prepackaged bombs and special effects. It lacked enough vulgarity to appeal to those people;instead it had one of the most touching and intelligent scripts in the last year. Attendance might be down, and ironically quality is up in Hollywood. "The Weather Man" deals with real issues such as insecurity, love, and trust. It presents scenarios where the audience might become uncomfortable looking at an aspect of their lives they might not like. Here is a parent who is challenged by his inability to connect with his own children, who appears to have unsurmountable challenges dealing with a spouse, and who is now not very sure his job is truly what he always wanted.

    Michael Caine once again shines in his supporting role as the father who can't communicate with his son, and has now pressing issues to deal with before it's too late. Hope Davis does a bit of against-type work with a woman who might be lacking in the warmth department. Both are impeccable and very effective in their performances.

    Verbinsky keeps a leisured pace, allowing the audience to meditate and understand how critical this stage of his life is for Dave (Cage). This is a sink or swim situation, and he must do some careful reevaluation in order to succeed. Whether he is able or not, is one of the joys of the film. This movie will be remembered for its depth and quality, for its attention to detail, as well as its realistic approach. It's a 10!
  • I can already tell that people are going to have very strong reactions to The Weather Man. People are either going to love it or hate it. They're going to find it shockingly hilarious or just plain shocking. I loved it and found it hilarious, but I'm not easily offended (I do a show with Jegar, how can anything offend me?). There were many instances where I was the only person laughing in the theater. For instance, Michael Caine, who plays Robert Spritz, tells his son David Spritz (played by Nicolas Cage) that David's daughter is getting teased at school and called "Camel Toe". Just to hear Sir Michael Caine use the expression "camel toe" is pretty unexpected. But then various shots of camel toes pop up on the screen to illustrate this phenomenon to anyone in the audience who's unfamiliar with the concept. I found it all absurdly hilarious, but I don't think many of the grey-haired audience shared my sentiments.

    This movie was not at all like I was expecting. The Weather Man is crass and silly, but it's also extremely dark and sad. David Spritz is a sad, lonely man who's trying to reconcile with this ex-wife and get his family back together, but despite his best intentions, things just never work out the way he wants. More than anything, he wants to prove to his dying father that he can be a great man too, but time is running out. This is not your typical comedy. It's not easy to watch sometimes, but according to Robert Spritz, "Easy doesn't enter into grown-up life."
  • videokitty25 October 2005
    I saw a screening of this tonight, and I was very impressed. I expected a rather shallow comedy, but instead, received a well-thought out and delivered work which was insightful, quirky, funny and touching film which was far above my expectations. Cage delivers a great performance as usual, and the father-son relationship between Cage and Caine was authentic and balanced. This is not just a comedy, but is a study of the importance of family, and an overlying existential questioning of what our lives are all about. I highly recommend it for men and women alike. On a side note... Verbinski's works are diverse, fun, and interesting, and this is no exception.
  • Social commentary? Yes it is and you could also argue that it is a clever one (especially after having seen the trailer) ... but that is also one of the weaknesses of this movie ... it never really fulfills your expectations that you might have (if you have the same as I did), which is to see a cleverly knitted commentary on our society and family life!

    And it all begins very well, every scene does make sense in the overall context. But then suddenly after you've passed the middle of the movie, the movie comes to a full stop. At least it feels like that. I can't explain it in detail without spoiling anything (not that I think that it does much of a difference), but I can tell you to stay away from this and watch movies that know exactly what they want! :o)
  • Summary: A middle aged weather man with a failing family life, sick parent and dull job copes with his life and aspires to move to a national TV show.

    A great movie about the modern dilemma. It is about American society and its problems seen through the life of one guy. It talks about his problems, his mortality, his moral failings, and his caring soul as well. Nicely written, great photography of Lake Michigan covered in ice. Lots of great scenes where Nicholas Cage pull off difficult performances. Many sadly comic scenes including a dream sequence with Sponge Bob that is a wonderfully surreal.

    I am afraid that disapproving critics don't understand the deep irony and existential humor like a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Nothing illustrates this better than the scene where Cage's character sees the giant balloon of Sponge Bob floating by. The meaning and meaningless of life together with family and ambition together with human frailty come together wonderfully and with humor.
  • ferguson-629 October 2005
    Greetings again from the darkness. So Close. This is painfully close to being a great film. Although still very good at presenting issues normally not seen on film, director Gore Verbinski ("Pirates of the Caribbean" "The Ring") falls just short of making a very powerful statement.

    Please do not let the trailer fool you. This is not slapstick comedy like "Anchorman". This is deep, often dark subject matter addressing the emotional struggles men face when dealing with a bad divorce, trying to maintain a relationship with kids, and the pressures of trying to make one's own dad proud (or at least gain acceptance). So often Hollywood deals with the plight of the woman and her emotional turmoil. Instead we are "treated" with watching a man's attempt to live up to (what he thinks are) expectations of others and how somehow the right job will make everything OK ... his life will be whole.

    Nicolas Cage gives another outstanding performance as "The Weather Man" on a Chicago TV station. To add to the complexity, he is not a meteorologist and he is being courted by a national morning talk show featuring Bryant Gumbel. Two areas with this character are poorly written in my opinion. First, Cage's hair weave is bloody awful. At least in Dallas, weather men all look like Televangelists with perfect hair. His is always askew ... don't they have hair/make-up staff in Chicago? Second, the character is written as too much of a loser in all aspects. He is not just struggling, he is not someone any guy or girl would want to hang with. The film tries, but fails, to show the "switch" come on when Cage steps in front of the camera. They tell us this happens, but it needed to be presented much clearer.

    Playing Cage's father, Michael Caine is a pretty intimidating figure as he is confused about his son's direction in life while at the same time facing a very dark future of his own. Caine is wonderful in the role and when he tells his son "Sometimes in life, you just have to chuck it", we really get it and hope that Cage does as well.

    On the other hand, Hope Davis is cast as yet another frigid "B" yuppie whom I don't understand how any man could be attracted to. Yet somehow this is the woman Cage wants back. Time to stretch your talent a bit Hope. You showed plenty of promise in "About Schmidt" and have been working steadily since. But to take the next step as an actress, you need to try a new character. Gil Bellows ("Aly McBeal") has a creepy role as Cage's teenage son's counselor. He is responsible for some of the most uncomfortable moments as well as a way for Cage to finally cut loose.

    As I said, this is a very good movie that falls just short of greatness. While providing insight into the male psyche, it fails to deliver the message or solution it seemed to be leading up to. However, it is nice to see a man portrayed as something other than a superhero, adulterer, international spy or Olympic caliber lover.
  • I'm sorry to the thousands of people who voted this movie a really good movie. I didn't think so.

    I like Nicolas Cage just as much as the average guy and I know this movie is not his usual type of role. But still, the movie is dark, shows problems at home, at work and with the family - all real life situations, with real life out-load thinking..

    This movie does nothing but explain that life isn't easy and things don't always come out the way you thought they would be. I mean come on, this is just regular life as most people know it except the annoying dark music that simply just emphasizes that fact the he's really down.
  • Yeah yeah, I get it, film snobs. This is high art. It's an homage to melancholic French film noir, with lots of drab snow and blue filtered lenses. "You just don't understand tragic comedy," some of you may suggest. Oh, I understand it all right. Only "The Weather Man" makes a dog's dinner of that particular genre, if that's indeed what they were going for. I'm not sure.

    If awards are given for such things, Nick Cage might get an award for maintaining the same long monotonous hang-dog facial expression in nearly every scene for two hours of screen time. Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton perfected this bit. The sad, luckless clown, wondering through life getting beat down, but winning our hearts because they persevere. Cage can't bring it on like Keaton. About half way through this mess, I was hoping he'd get hit with a brick, not a sandwich.

    But I have to hand it to Paramount Pictures for the most shameless product placement I've ever seen in a film: They literally throw their products, logos and all, right at Cage, making the image stick in your mind while it sticks to Cage's suits and overcoats.

    Splat! McDonalds. Splat! Big Gulp, 7-Eleven. Splat! Splat! Taco Bell. And it case you were too dense to pick up on that, you could see the McDonalds golden arches reflected in window glass and slightly out of focus in the background of a half dozen shots. I mean, come on! If this was supposed to be Haute Ciné, it must be some kind of cynical inside joke to have the lead character covered in advertising like a NASCAR hot rod.

    I won't spoil it for those of you who like to wallow in excruciating maudlin muck. I know some people are uplifted watching other people morbidly depressed. But for the rest of us who may be less enlightened to the entertainment or artistic value of watching some unloved schmendrick stumbling along in misery, this film will make you want to have a drink, or several. Or worse, jump off a tall building or stick your head in a gas oven.

    In short, this film doesn't deliver any truth you didn't have already. It's just a depressing mess.

    It was only when Michael Cane's character delivered the line: "In this sh*t life, you have to chuck some things" pretty far into the picture when I suddenly realized I should have chucked this thing after the first twenty minutes. Take his advice, and mine, and leave this one on the video rental shelf.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film was a major disappointment. The previews made it appear as though it would have a dry witty sense of humor about it. However, what unfolds is a long depressing film with very little content. Even the brilliance of Michael Caine could not save this one. This is the sort of film that has you checking your watch after only 30 minutes. All of the humor in the preview is the sum of the humor in the movie - all the good lines are there. The one highlight in the film is the Spongebob Balloon drifting by the hotel window that cage is staying in. Not only is this film depressing, vulgar, and tasteless - it is also very long. There are at least two hours of my life that I will never get back.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    To start on a positive note, I have to admire the honesty of the writer and director in portraying the main character as unattractively as this. Nicholas Cage, who wants desperately to be liked, loved, and admired by his family members, gets - and deserves - none of the above. A lesser, more conventional movie would have gotten to the midpoint by showing that Dave Spritz - misunderstood but virtuous and likable - solving a problem by some ingenious means, with the rest of the movie devoted to showing his newly-acquired respect from Dad, ex-wife, and kids.

    This isn't that movie. But neither is it very good at all - lots of things just don't make sense, are never really resolved (or they're just no exposition - they just hang there, like his daughter's smoking habit, or the existence of his mother - neither of these do anything for the film at all), or, worst, are internally contradictory without a hint of irony. During the movie, while coping with his father's sickness, the aftermath of divorce, and problems with the kids at home, it's shown how Dave is just barely able to cope. One would think that somebody this dysfunctional would be unable to find the studio for his New York audition, let alone do a creditable audition. Yet it appears to go well, and there's no concept that personal problems might create a problem performing up to standard.

    Another contradictory element is his announcement in one of the nonsensical voice-overs how good his father (a Pulitzer-winning writer, played by Michael Caine by varying his face from "blank expression" to "Semi grin") was as a father. But - but - but - the whole movie is evidence to the contrary - are we seriously to believe that Robert Spritz couldn't do better than this? Or that his almost willful emotional disengagement from Dave is in any way admirable?

    Dave Spritz plays a celebrity weather man who, evidently, fairly regularly gets hit with fast food and drinks from people in the street, for no reason whatsoever. I have never heard of this happening, I don't know why it would happen, and I don't know of how it even could happen in the manner in which it is depicted - picture this, you've just bought a Slurpee or a MacDonald's pie (presumably because you wanted to consume them) when you see a man that may or may not be somebody you see on TV occasionally for three minutes at a time. Do you

    a. point out the person to whoever you're with b. ask the man for his autograph c. Immediately, without thinking about it for more than half a second, throw your consumable at him, accurately enough to hit him in the head?

    I don't know anyone who would ever consider (c). As a follow-up, if you're a minor celebrity and people occasionally come up and ask for your autograph do you a. smile and give it to them b. give them some conversation, some banter, some interaction c. verbally pick a fight with them, ending with mutual acrimony

    Again, I can't imagine a minor celebrity who would ever pick (c). Throughout the movie, in fact, it's astonishing that Dave Spritz stays in one piece; he picks verbal and physical fights with his daughter, his ex-wife, his ex-wife's boyfriend (who has committed no sin other than having played either stupid or mobster or both types in other movies), two semi-fans, the counselor who has come on to his son - I was waiting for him to get into it with Bryant Gumbel. One would think that the climax of the movie would reveal some deep-seated reason for all this anger (like, maybe, his dad treats him like dirt on a good day?) but it was not to be - it's just something to happen on screen

    Overall, it's one of those movies that, in their insistence on not being conventional - the desire, perhaps, to have a whiff of "indie" sensibility - loses sight of any hope of being edifying, original, or, in the end, entertaining in more than the most superficial way. It's the sort of part that Jim Carrey has been taking too often these days, and it doesn't look any better on Cage than Carrey.

    The final irritating event/theme of the movie (perhaps it's meant ironically, but I doubt it) is the flat contradiction of his father's advice about "'Easy' doesn't enter into grown-up life...." blah blah blah, contrasted with Dave's career accomplishments. If what Dave wants from his dad is just the right platitude, and this is it, Dave's life and career is a direct refutation of this one - he admits that his job doesn't take any knowledge whatsoever. And how hard does he have to work at even the things he works at? Archery isn't exactly the Green Berets, Dave, nor is it doing anybody in the world any good, unlike something like charity work, volunteering, or trying to be other than completely self-involved. All in all, I would not recommend this picture.
  • There is really no reason to watch this movie.

    When I saw the preview, it looked like a quirky, off-the-beaten-path kind of film - just the type of film that I usually enjoy. However, it was nothing of the kind.

    Firstly, it's not even close to being funny - anyone expecting to laugh will be heartily disappointed. It's actually one of the more depressing movies I've seen lately.

    Yes, it's quirky, but in all the wrongs ways. The characters are uninteresting, the acting and dialogue are horrible, and the plot is simply uninteresting.

    This kind of film is actually becoming a cliché in Hollywood - successful white guy has mid-life crisis and questions his existence. The trouble is that I've already seen this same movie half a dozen times, and much better done.

    This movie also features a truly sickening amount of product placement. Only "Castaway", which was basically one long Fed Ex commercial, comes close in this department.

    To sum up, there's really no reason to see this movie, it's garbage.
  • At first, it would seem that The Weather Man doesn't have a point to make. We follow David Spritz as his life falls apart around him, and it would seem like that's all the film is. By the ending; we do get a defining point, and while Gore Verbinski hammers it home a little too hard for it to be as effective as it could have been; it's a good point and gives credence to a thoroughly enjoyable little film. This is a pretty big change of pace from the big budgeted kids' films that Verbinski has been making recently, and his approach to this far more low key film is sombre and relaxed, and The Weather Man benefits from that. The plot focuses on the difference between one man's personal and working life. At work, he is a successful weather man, who's been headhunted by a bigger network. But in his private life, he's estranged from his wife; his kids aren't exactly top of the class and just to top it all off, every time he steps onto the street, fast food gets thrown at him! Spiralling downwards, his life is approaching collapse; and he must choose between his family and a big salary in New York.

    Nicolas Cage takes the lead role, and while he's never really stretched; he manages to give a fine performance throughout the film. In support, we've got the likes of Michael Caine and Hope Davis, as well as talented youngster Gemmenne de la Peña, who all round the acting off nicely. The film manages to pull together two very different tones and make it work. There's some rather funny humour on display, and this is mixed with an overall pessimistic mindset. This gives The Weather Man something of an original standpoint, and although it has to be said that the plot itself is never overly interesting, the tone of the movie is good enough to see it through. From mainstream cinema; especially American mainstream cinema, you don't expect to see films with such a depressing viewpoint on life - but it really doesn't get much more depressing than the one professed here. Verbinski's film states that, like the weather, life cannot be predicted - and no matter what hopes and dreams you have, they're likely to be smashed by the time it comes to realising them. Ouch.
  • This is another one of those Hollywood movies that thinks that by showing a man (Cage) who is self-centered and pretty much a moron with a touch of darkness(ie:Sideways) the movie is reaching to the more intelligent audience. Not the case. This movie made me so frustrated because it was so bad. It had a feeling like the director and the writer were just being smug by putting together a story of someone so mundane and self-centered that they could pass this off as dark comedy. It is pitiful and very painful to watch. I do not want to put any spoilers in here so more people will read this and hopefully never go to this heap of garbage. Needless to say I even think less now than I did before of Cage and put him right there with the likes of Keanu Reeves. The Weather Man finds Nicolas Cage in a self-pitying mood. In the past, this would have been happy news. Cage in a funk was good for ''Leaving Las Vegas" and ''Adaptation." Even in a movie as imbalanced as Martin Scorsese's ''Bringing Out the Dead," Cage's depression soulfully complemented Scorsese's mania. Those movies gave Cage an opportunity to be inventive and inspired. The Weather Man gives him license to drift for nearly two hours like a parade float. The film takes too many of its cues from Dave's (Cage) depression. It is like a funeral.

    I really have to laugh and get a little peeved when I see many people get suckered in and write "good" and "Great!" for their review here on IMDb. In the end this movie's attempt at self-centered humor flops unlike Sideways which was overrated yet still far better than The Weather Man. Forecast: Stay away from this dust-bowl of stink.
  • I turned the movie off half way through. Meandering story line that goes nowhere. Not a family movie. Hooray for big budgeted horribly done movies. I thought this was such a horribly done movie. I felt sorry for the editors that had to draw out scenes in to oblivion because the source material they were dealing with was such crap. Nothing like sitting down to watch a movie with my family and feeling so embarrassed that I had to get up and leave the room. It seems sad to me that when you have such an incredibly high caliber of actors and actresses (Nicolas Cage) that you can produce such garbage as this. This movie is definitely a download one... If you are bound and determined to watch it go download it.
  • David Spritz is a Chicago weatherman who is highly successful with his job but outside of his professional life he is a wreck, with his father that is diagnosed with cancer, his wife on the verge of being engaged with another man, and his kids growing up without him. The movie is excellent. The brilliant direction of Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) and the writing of Steve Conrad mix perfectly in this comedy/drama. The film is also extremely funny and on a couple scenes, I don't think I've ever laughed that hard in any movie, but this. Although it has a high amount of hilarious scenes, the movie is pretty serious and at a point, quite depressing. The acting is amazing and I think Nicolas Cage as David Spritz, should be nominated for an Oscar. This is one of his finest performances. Overall, an excellent comedy that has a great message to show and should be viewed by everyone. I highly recommend it.

    Hedeen's Outlook: 9.5/10 **** A
  • David Spritz (Nicolas Cage) is an affable weather reporter on local Chicago television. He is well liked and may even be in the running for a bigger gig on a national morning show out of NYC. However, away from the cameras, things are very different. For one, David's father, Robert Spritzer (Michael Caine) is a famous writer who has cast enormous footprints for his son to follow. Now, news comes that his dad is seriously ill. In addition, David is divorced from his beautiful wife, Noreen (Hope Davis) and has trouble connecting with his children, teenage Michael (Nicholas Hoult) and twelve year old Shelley. Shelley, especially, is a point of concern, for she is slightly overweight and the object of school bullies, on occasion. Although David tries to ignite her interest in hobbies, such as archery, Shelley remains very aloof. It is, in fact, Robert, who has the better relationships with his granddaughter, grandson, and ex-daughter-in-law. Therefore, while Daivd continues to let a smile be his umbrella, on the news, he is juggling major problems with his family AND pursuing the chance to be a bigtime weatherman on a national show. Will he be able to maintain his sanity? This is a dark, dark film, in the vein of American Beauty, but, alas, not quite as good or cohesive as that Oscar-winning movie. However, Cage, as usual, does an excellent job as the very mixed-up local television star and, be still dear hearts, he looks very handsome. The rest of the cast is also superlative in their difficult roles, especially Caine as the highly intelligent and refined author. The scenery in and around Chicago is mostly bleak, as the film takes place in winter while the costuming and camera work are excellent. Thus, the film's deficiencies stem mostly from an uneven script and a very slow-moving pace. Yet, despite this, the movie has some sharp observations to make about the human condition. If you are in a depressed mood, DO NOT see this one, as it can lay low the most optimistic of folks. But, if you are a fan of Cage, Caine, or the other cast members or if you have a yen to ponder the dark side of life, this flick does offer much food for thought, indeed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Why does Michael Caine keep popping up in small ungrateful roles as an American grandpa, unsuccessfully forging an American accent. Didn't he do the same thing in AROUND THE BEND (2004)? He's a great actor, I think he can afford it to pick his roles more carefully.

    Nicolas Cage is David Spritz, "The Weatherman", from a local Chicago television station. He is a celebrity, he gets a big paycheck and he makes a chance of getting a job at a national TV-station in New York. Too bad his private life is a miserable failure. He's divorced, he has estranged himself from his children and his father (Caine) looks down on him. So (yawn), he tries to straighten his life and learns that taking a piece of the American Way or something, is the way to go after all, which is taking the job in New York and go for the money.

    Admittedly, I've had a bit of an overdose of Nicolas Cage recently, he's everywhere. I reached a point where I cannot make a distinction anymore between his roles. Whether he plays a family man (in FAMILY MAN), an Ukranian arms dealer (in LORD OF WAR), or a con-man (in MATCHSTCK MEN), they all seem the same to me now. For some reason, there is a strange recent trend to shoot almost all Hollywood-movies in the same icy-cold blue lighting, which doesn't give this film any distinction in this department either.

    The film definitely isn't the comedy it appears to be. Perhaps this was the maker's original intention, but the result is a dark, a very dark film. It definitely has it's moments with some of the most embarrassing scenes I've seen in a long time. David Spritz sometimes makes such a complete ass out of himself, I found it extremely painful to watch at times. Sadly, as mentioned, the other characters are flat and unappealing, most painful for Michael Caine who plays an especially unappealing character. The young Nicholas Hoult as David Spritz his son is a standout with a small but great part. Watch out for him, next teen idol and hopefully in acting, a harbor of things to come.

    It was watchable, but maddeningly uneven. For a film with a "message", we've heard it all before, in better films.

    Camera Obscura --- 5/10
  • I am very disappointed that I wasted $10 and 2 hours of my life watching this movie. Has our society really reached the point where we can constantly accept mediocre garbage as a substitute for thought-provoking entertainment? Everything in this movie seemed flawed...from the writing to the casting. Can someone please explain to me how an American husband and wife raise two children...but one has a British accent? Oh and while I am complaining about the logistics of the movie: why was a plot point of Nicholas Cage's daughter being a smoker introduced? She buys cigarettes, the father sees them in her bag and the point is never touched on again. No resolution? Not even confrontation? Ohhhh I know what you avant-garde cinema heads are thinking...maybe that is the point, right? Maybe it isn't all about the resolution? Well I think it is pointless and boring. Back to logistics, how exactly do these people throwing things at the weatherman have such great accuracy? Not only can these villains recognize Dave Spritz by the back of his head and nail him with food (in a shameless effort to divert eyes away from looking at our watches), these villains are superhuman enough to see Spritz sitting in his car with the window down and accurately throw a big gulp through the window and hit him. Oh and here's something else that ticked me can you cast someone as brilliant as Michael Caine into the role of a genius father figure and give him such horrible dialogue. This world-renowned author and genius father of David Spritz sits in the weatherman's car, picks up a cup and gives the line, "What's this?" ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! It is a cup that is most likely filled with residue from soda and it has the words BIG GULP printed so large on the side that Stevie Wonder could read it! The dialogue in this movie is just like the plot. It is weak, thin, very dry, and most of the time it DOES NOT MAKE SENSE! Gore Verbinski I hope you read this because the cut to a 12 year old girl's "cameltoe" and then the superimposed real life camel toe was absolutely ridiculous. It was just sooooo stupid! And Nick if you ever read this...just because Adaptation was a good movie doesn't mean you have to keep using voice-over in every movie you take! When a movie is driven by the main character being hit with food and a 12 year old girl's cameltoe you should definitely save your time and money and STEER CLEAR OF THIS MOVIE.
  • then watch this movie. I'm quite sure this is absolutely the worse film in the history of movie making. How in the world it received a 7.0 AND Ebert & Roper gave it two thumbs up is beyond me. Cage is questioning his personal and professional success? I'm questioning my own sanity if everyone else liked this movie and I didn't. To be truthful, my wife and I watched 3/4 of this movie and HAD to turn it off. I know that's terrible, but jeesh I couldn't take any more! I know life is rough, but Cage epitomizes this by constantly running into one brick wall after another. I don't want to accidentally write a spoiler by adding too many details, but divorce, messed up kids, father in bad health, ex-wife hating I need a shot in the arm after this movie. Please beware, if you're looking for a feel-good (or even a good movie), man...this just ain't it.

    This movie got marketed as though it were a comedic piece of fluff. People came in expecting something to laugh at, and of course they were disappointed. If you in the mood for light hearted fare, you would not have been pleased at this film.

    I didn't have a TV when The Weather Man came out, and I hadn't seen the trailers, so I went in with no preconceived notions at all, What I came away with was the feeling that I had watched the best movie of the year.

    This is not a humorous movie in the least. It's the story of a man going through a mid-life crisis, and it never takes the easy way out. Nicolas Cage's "David Spritz" is the son of Pulitzer Prize winning author "Robert Spritzen", played by Michael Caine. Caine's character is dying, and Cage's character has never lived up to his father's image. He's tried writing a novel, but frankly, it stinks.

    Instead, Cage is a TV Weather Man. Every day he provides the people of Chicago with the two TV minute equivalent of a McDonald's Happy Meal. He's extremely good at what he does, but he also feels valueless. His personal life is the same: with his mini-celebrity he can get laid any time he wants, but he has completely botched it with the one love of his life.

    Every time I thought that this film would go for the cheap emotional reward, instead the film takes real life turns. Cage still loves his ex-wife, but he never gets her back, and instead she marries someone else. Michael Caine's character dies on the day that Cage is auditioning for his first national morning show shot, and instead of breaking down on the set, Cage nails his audition. (Nice cameo by Bryant Gumbel btw).

    And that is where the films ends. Cage's life remains disturbing. He's deleted his half-finished novel. He doesn't get his wife back. He moves away from his children. His father is dead, and Cage will never match what he was. But he comes to a certain peace. He understands that the time in his life for trying to be something is over. He is something. It's not the storybook ending, but for 99.9 percent of us this is how it goes. We want a lot of things for ourselves, we don't get all of them, and we learn to accept the things that we have. We grow up.

    The only movie I've seen that compares to this film is Mickey Rourke's "The Wrestler", and I think "The Weather Man" is the better of the two. I like "The Wrestler", but its message comes at you like an elbow pile-driver from the top rope. "The Weather Man" is more like a cold wind from Lake Michigan.

    Really stupid marketing though.
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