A Spritz of Bad Weather
"The Weather Man" is a mood movie and trust me if you're not in the right mood you're not going to enjoy this movie. You see "The Weather Man" is a dark comedy, a scathing look at life, in particular the life of one man who whilst his professional life is on the up his personal life is going down fast. And before you think well okay but everything will come good in the end and things work out for the best, nope this is a pessimistic movie from beginning to end and a movie which whilst dark borders on the perversely quirky. So as I said unless you are in the right mood, a mood where you want something very different, very dark and often very strange you are not going to enjoy either "The Weather Man" or what is to be honest a pretty brilliant performance from Nicolas Cage.
As a local weatherman David Spritz (Nicolas Cage - Lord of War) has a strange life because he doesn't forecast the weather he presents it, mastering the art of the green screen better than anyone. So whilst some people enjoy his forecasts others throw slushes at him when the forecast is wrong, yet things are looking up as he has the chance of a weather forecasting job on a National network. But whilst his professional life is on the up his personal life is heading down quickly as his ex wife has tired of him whilst he struggles to connect with his children and all he really wants is for his own father to approve of him and what he does.
So as already mentioned "The Weather Man" is the story of one man David Spritz whose career is progressing whilst his personal life is collapsing. Sounds a little strange and to be honest it is because it feels like writer Steve Conrad is trying to make some social comment on how perverse life is, how it doesn't matter if something is going well for you in one aspect of life because there is a kicking waiting for you in another aspect. So whilst on one hand we watch as Spritz has a shot at becoming a national weather forecaster on "Goodmorning America" his personal life and his relationships with those close to him be it his troubled son, his depressed daughter, his ex wife or his father are all going down hill. In a way you could say there is an almost dysfunctional feel to this set up but Conrad adds more to it making it stand out from other dysfunctional movies.
But the thing about "The Weather Man" is that it is a mainstream movie which feels distinctly non mainstream. From the subdued visual pallet which director Gore Verbinski employs through to the strange moments of reflective humour as David talks about his life it feels very different. At times it almost borders on the artsy, delivering strange scenes such as those which see David take up archery. Yet you then get something equally as weird yet more mainstream such as David getting soft drinks and food thrown at him by disgruntled members of the public who ridicule him for forecasting incorrect weather predictions. And lets just say when the movie covers the subject of camel toes it borders on the freaky. To put it simply the humour on show in "The Weather Man" is not only a mixed bag but also very strange, the sort which catches you by surprise, makes you smile but rarely laugh.
The thing about "The Weather Man" is that it is a very dour movie; the words pessimistic barely do it justice as it looks at how perverse life is. And it is very much the case that unless you can handle something different, something very pessimistic which doesn't conform to mainstream expectations you just wont enjoy it. It doesn't matter whether you life Nicolas Cage or think Gore Verbinski is a great director because this is something completely different.
Whether you get it or not there is one thing for sure and that is Nicolas Cage is simply stunning through out the entire movie. Be it when as David he is contemplating his own life, how his job as a weatherman is nothing more than working the green screen or how messed up his family are Cage makes this a character of various dimensions. He can be dour one moment, angry the next when he gets slushied and then burst into a smile when he makes the smallest of connections with his children and the whole time we also feel for him because we can see that what he wants more than anything is for his father to approve of him, to praise him and show him some affection. Talking of his father you have to say whilst Michael Caine gives a good performance as Robert the strange accent makes it feel very wrong, it just doesn't sound right half British, Half American and totally weird.
What this all boils down to is that "The Weather Man" is most definitely very different, very quirky and at times a little strange, no very strange. It may feature an interesting storyline and Nicolas Cage delivering one of his best performances but unless you are in the mood for a dour, pessimistic movie which pokes fun at some very weird stuff you will not enjoy it.