The Weather Man

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The Weather Man
Review (4/10)
(By Steve Chupnick)

Sometimes when you watch a movie, you're moved in a way for the good. In the case of The Weather Man, I was moved in a not so good way. It may have had to do with the fact that it's just not a very good movie ? maybe. Well, ok, maybe as a movie, it's not as bad; but the tone of the movie just takes you down about 10 levels from any kind of high you might have been on.

And that high for me was quickly released after the first 15 minutes. It's just not funny, it's just not a developed story, and part of it is just down right disturbing ? I'll get to that soon.

Just to go over a little bit of the plot, Nicolas Cage plays Dave Spritz, a local tv Chicago weather man, he's divorced from his wife, has a poor relationship with his two kids, his father, and his whole life in general. When a national tv job comes up, he goes for the position and tries to get back with his wife and rebuild his bond with his children and dad.

He's messed up pretty much every kind of relationship he's had, of course, his wife included. As you've seen in the trailers, he forgets the tarter sauce at the store ? to Hope Davis, who plays his wife, that's the last straw and kicks him out of the house. Nick told us in a press conference, it's just a difference of opinions, that everyone has relationship problems:

?It's the battle of the sexes, there are times when we have difficulty
from both sides comprehending what exactly is it you were thinking.
And I think Dave is on the receiving end of that because he's not
thinking all the time. He's forgetting things are slipping his mind, he's
got to get the tartar sauce and I'm sure it's enormously frustrating for her
that something as mundane as tartar sauce could tip the apple cart, but we know it's more that really, don't we? It's everything, it's all building up
to that little straw.?

See what I mean, even Nick really doesn't even know what he's talking about. That last straw for me would have been getting past page 2 on the script. He said he when he got the script, it was a winner. Well, I don't know what script he was reading cause he certainly wasn't reading the movie I saw. What a complete disappointment.

Ok, now to the disturbing part ? his daughter is a little overweight, she's 12 years old. His father, played by Michael Caine, explains to him that the children at school make fun of her by calling her ?camel toe.' Now, I'm not sure if you know what that means, but let's just say, it's completely inappropriate to be talking about a 12 year old girl that way. That kind of comes up towards the middle of the movie. I had already kind of made up my mind about the whole thing when that discussion took place. That was my last straw for liking this film. Eventually, Nick confronts his daughter about the name calling; she says she knows the kids are calling her that, but she thinks it's a good thing, something to the effect of ?camels are smart, so they're calling me smart.' What made it even worse was they actually flashed pictures of girls camel toes on the screen. Yes, I understand the film is rated R; yes, I know the whole movie was dark and what's one more thing to bring it down. But my whole point is, it's about a 12 year old girl, you don't talk about that with regards to a pre-teen.

Well, there was actually one bright spot to the film, and that's Michael Caine. He's really the best thing, and only good thing in the whole movie. He's vindictive when he needs to be, mainly to Nick (in a good way, of course), he's kind when he wants to be, and most importantly, he really cares about his family. If he didn't have such a small part in this film, you would almost think he could be recognized for certain supporting awards. He should have been in more of the film, and maybe less of Nick's character ? it might have made for a better movie.

All the commercials and tv spots I've seen for this movie make it out to look like a comedy. It is most certainly not a comedy; in fact, the only time you laugh is when he gets fast food thrown at him. Hey, wait, that's all you see on tv ? don't buy the hype, it's not a comedy, it's a drama with about 3 minutes (out of 120 minutes) of humor in it. Yes, The Weather Man is about two hours long, don't waste your time ? seriously, go see Elizabethtown. You'll still be supporting Paramount, but you'll be seeing a much better movie, and be able to hear better music.

The Weather Man gets 1 star, and that's for Michael Caine's performance.

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