Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Weatherman

Review by Michael Jaffe

The Weatherman, a film that looked like a quirky, off-beat comedy was exactly what the ads said it would be, but be warned: it might be quirkier than you think! This film’s plot is about a Chicago weatherman, Dave Spritz, who has to deal with a troubled son, an overweight daughter, a ex-wife who has her own problems, a father who has a couple months to live and to top it off he is chasing a big job in New York doing the national weather reports. With all of this stuff happening, the events spiral out of Dave’s control until he hits rock bottom. His redemption will be found or lost in the end depending on his family, which is the real message of the film: family is IT.
Dave is played by the sometimes fabulous, sometimes shitty Nicolas Cage. In Weatherman he is Dave Spritz, for better or worse and he plays this poor asshole to perfection. With two good acting jobs in a row, Lord of War and now Weatherman, I have an impending sense of fear about how terrible Ghost Rider, his next big budget film, will be. He is joined by Michael Caine as his father and Hope Davis as his ex-wife. Both Caine and Davis are always incredible, and this film is no different as they are both mellow, yet so subdued as their offbeat characters that you forget that you are watching actors. Gore Verbinski, famed for Pirates of the Caribbean, returns to what made The Ring great; nothing overplayed, everything, even the extraordinary, all underplayed and mellow. Mr. Verbinski shows a bit of the flair that mad Pirates fun without actually having anything fun happen.
The film does run slow, and is longer than most people will like, but this reviewer appreciates patience in developing a story. Also, many people will not find any of the bazaar and very, very dark dialogue humorous, but for those who can find the humor in death and obesity; this is the film for you. The main problem with this film is how dark it gets, it drains you emotionally and makes you feel bad about the world, but once the lights go up, you feel so much better that your life isn’t as messed up as this weatherman. 8/10


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