The Weather Man
Special guest reviewer: Mr. Smiley!
Mr. Smiley's rating:
Like having an orgasm and saving the whales, all at the same time!
Contrary to what you might think, I really enjoy depressing movies. That's because I think film is meant to be cathartic and there's nothing better than watching somebody else's pain and suffering and struggle to make me realize how wonderful life truly is. For instance, I watched Jodie Foster get ganged raped in "The Accused" and that made me really happy because while I had the vicarious experience of being gang-raped, I just had to smile, smile, smile because I knew I hadn't actually been gang-raped and hopefully never will (knock on wood). Likewise, I watch Holocaust films and grin from ear-to-ear because I learn about suffering and learn to respect other people and that makes me a better person without having actually to be a Holocaust victim myself.
In director Gore ("Pirates of the Carribean") Verbinski's "The Weather Man," Nicolas Cage plays David Spritz, a weatherman in Chicago who's right smack dab in the middle of a mid-life crisis. This film is actually filmed in Chicago, and to be perfectly honest, I just love Chicago so much that a movie could be about beating kittens to death and I'd still love it if the Chicago scenery were good because I'd sit in the theater and point and grin and think to myself "ooh, I've been there."
Unfortunately for David, nothing in his life seems to satisfy his idea of what his life should be. He makes lots of money, but he's divorced from Noreen (Hope Davis), and his kids seem to have problems that somehow emanate from his problems. Shelly (Gemmenne de la Peña) is overweight. His son, Mike (Nicholas Hoult), is just getting out of rehab at fifteen. When David goes to see Noreen, they usually end up shouting profanities at each other. Then there's the additional burden David has of living in the shadow of his father, Robert (Michael Caine), a Pulitzer Prize winning writer.
Like I said, watching somebody else's anxiety can be so much fun because I always know that people will sit there and learn from it. At the very least, they'll say to themselves, "wow, I'm glad I'm not that neurotic" and that's something. The super thing that Gore does in this film though, is that he punctuates the anxiety with lots of laughs. One of the running jokes in the film is David always getting hit with things. This harkens back to the days of Vaudeville, if you ask me, and there's nothing I like better than classic comedy. It's so amazingly wonderful.
There's also the neat addition of David taking up archery. I think it's so unbelievable that Nicolas Cage is not only one of our most talented and gifted actors, but he's practiced shooting arrows to the point where he looks so completely natural at it that he could win the Olympics. If only that kind of talent could be bottled up and sold like Aquafina water, we'd all be so happy and everybody would be smiling all the time!
Like an arrow, "The Weatherman" makes a sharp point. Like a bow, you'll be pulled right in!
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