Nic Cage Appreciation Month: The Weather Man (2005)

The Weather Man is a painfully mismarketed film. The tagline on the DVD calls it "a comedy to brighten your day", but if you were having a bad day prior to watching this film, it'd probably finish you off. There are a couple of funny moments, sure, but it's essentially a film about a horrible man who has grown to hate his life and can't find a way to fix things. Not really all that cheery, then.

Nic Cage has played some utter bastards in his time, and David Spritz really doesn't compare - he's not a con artist, or a terrorist, or a gun runner, or a murderer, or even a criminal of any kind. He's just not a very nice man. He's incredibly selfish, and seemingly incapable of summoning anything remotely like empathy: his ex-wife can't bear him, he's rubbish with his kids, and he barely pays any attention to his dying father, choosing instead to obsess about, well, mostly, sex. His successful career as a minor TV personality - a weather man with a particularly grating persona - makes him an awful lot of money, but no respect (in fact, people regularly throw things at him in the street) and instead of this being one of those feel-good movies where everyone grows and learns and cries and hugs, it's just... not. At the end, Dave is just as alone and just as pathetic as he was when it started, if not more so. There's no neatly packaged moral here. It's just all a bit miserable.

Which isn't to say this is a bad film. Far from it, actually. Gore Verbinski keeps Cage firmly on his leash (I didn't spot a single Elvis reference in this film, which indicates that this was a very restrained Cage performance), making him actually act, actually play a character, rather than swanning around being Nic Cage. The cinematography is gorgeous; The Weather Man feels like an indie film, only with a much higher budget, better actors, and a slick of Hollywood gloss. It's definitely one of Cage's better films, but whoever stuck that tagline on the box really ought to have been sacked. The urge to make a weather-related pun of some kind is entirely understandable, but The Weather Man is really more of a drizzly, grey film than any kind of bright spell.

IMDB link


Tom said...

I'm convinced - I'll add this to my Lovefilm list.

Anonymous said...

I saw this film in a cinema in New York and the couple in front of me got really intimate. It was a little distracting. Perhaps they were just really into archery and found those bits too much to handle.