Directed by: GORE VERBINSKI
Starring: NICOLAS CAGE, MICHAEL CAINE,
HOPE DAVIS, GIL BELLOWS, NICHOLAS HOULT, GEMMENNE
DE LA PEÑA
Released by: Paramount Pictures
Short: In the midst of a Chicago winter
(and a midlife crisis), a depressed weather
man tries to balance his crumbling family life
with a promising career move.
Nicolas Cage Explores
By Jenny Peters
most moviegoers know, there are two distinct guys living
in Nicolas Cage's body. There's the macho action hero
of "Con Air" and "Face/Off," and then
there's the quirky oddball (think "Adaptation,"
"Raising Arizona," "Wild at Heart").
"The Weather Man" is his latest incarnation,
and as Chicago TV weathercaster Dave Spitz his performance
definitely skews toward his eccentric side. It's what
Cage does best, really, despite the fact that his action
persona usually draws bigger audiences. "The Weather
Man" is no exception. His performance is dead-on,
but this is a film that isn't going to exactly cause a
stampede at the multiplexes.
his mid-life crisis hard, we find the weather man in the
midst of a muddle. His wife has left him, his kids are struggling
to handle their separation, and his father, a Pulitzer Prize-winning
author played to perfection by Michael Caine, has just discovered
that he's quite ill. Add in that they are all in Chicago
in the middle of a typical freezing winter, and the general
tone of the movie matches its look—cold, gray and
kind of depressing.
as a comedy in the previews, "The Weather Man"
is really a dense family drama with moments of levity.
There are no belly laughs here, but that's not to say
there aren't some funny (and often pathetic) moments peppered
in. But overall this is a serious movie that explores
themes of parent-child relationships and the disappointments
that inevitably lie within them; of aging and the desire
for meaning and validation in one's life; and mostly,
of how one man finds and accepts his position in the universe.
"The Weather Man" is certainly
an interesting and enjoyable film that explores issues
that many baby boomers are perhaps wrestling with right
about now, but at the same time it is the kind of movie
that one can wait for. See it on an airplane, or when
it comes to DVD or TV; it just isn't quite compelling
enough to spend ten bucks to see on the big screen.