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The Weather Man

Genre: Comedy/Drama
Rated: R
Directed by
: GORE VERBINSKI
Starring: NICOLAS CAGE, MICHAEL CAINE, HOPE DAVIS, GIL BELLOWS, NICHOLAS HOULT, GEMMENNE DE LA PEÑA
Released by: Paramount Pictures

In 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.

Weird Weather
Nicolas Cage Explores His Angst

By Jenny Peters

As 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.


Hitting 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.

Touted 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.



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