- on Monday, 26 April 2010 19:06
- by Frank Wilkins
The Weather Man is a dark and depressing 2-hour long therapy session that pounds us over the head with the allegorical comparison of how life is as random and completely unpredictable as the weather. While I'm certain the concept seemed a lot more ingenious on paper, when translated to film, it's a one-trick pony that grows tiresome after the first 30-minutes. While tremendous skill is needed to pull off the "life is like" metaphor - just watch last year's Sideways for an example of near perfect execution subtlety and cleverness go a long way towards achieving the goal. But unfortunately, The Weather Man is neither.
Nicholas Cage is Chicago TV weatherman David Spritz who's on the short list of finalists to get the highly visible national morning show weatherman gig a la Willard Scott. But David is an unfortunate "schlep" with his own built-in rain cloud of bad fortune. Despite his external faÃ§ade of success, his teenaged son is struggling with life after rehab, his adolescent daughter Shelly (Gemmenne de la PeÃ±a) can't relate to him, his wife Noreen (Hope Davis) wants a divorce, and his father, Pulitzer Prize winning author Robert (Michael Caine) is suffering from a terminal case of lymphoma. And to make things worse, David often finds himself on the receiving end of a soft taco or Wendy's Frosty hurled by unappreciative "fans" that feel betrayed by his weather forecast. David's life is precariously perched on the precipice between great success and calamitous failure. But no matter how he tries to make amends, things always go from bad to worse.
Director Gore Verbinski and writer Steven Conrad shoot for a dark and edgy brand of storytelling in an attempt to show the warts of life in a humorous manner. Their humor is sometimes indeed funny, but more often than not, it misses its mark and comes off as more woe-is-me whininess by a sad-sack unlikeable loser. Cage offers insight into his character's psyche through means of a dry, shrug-shouldered, beaten down voice-over in which he goes on and on about how there's nothing easy about life. We get it already. We all know life offers a healthy dose of hardships, but I love life and I refuse to be miserable. The only "good" that comes from watching The Weather Man is that when I walk out of the theater, I know my life is not as screwed up as that of David Spritz.
Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
Subtitles: Closed Captioned
Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; trailer; featurettes.
* Making-Of Featurettes:
o Extended Outlook: The Script
o Forecast: Becoming a Weatherman
o Atmospheric Pressure: The Style and Palette
o Relative Humidity: The Characters
o Trade Winds: The Collaboration
* Deleted Scenes - 9 scenes that didn't make the final cut.
* Trailer - Original theatrical trailer for North Country.
Number of discs: - 1 - Keepcase Packaging.