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A successful Chicago weatherman who is separated from his wife and children tries to improve his life by becoming a better father.
If by some chance that Mr Cage is reading this review, then I shall say this only once. Nicholas, take some advice and stay away from the commercial land of Hollywood, and remain in the realms of the Indie-looking films. Yes I know here you act alongside such stalwarts as Michael Caine and directed by Gore “Pirates of the Caribbean” Verbinski, this movie is more your type of job. Now, less of the sycophantic plea and onto the review.
For some reason, THE WEATHER MAN was marketed as a laugh-out-loud comedy that was sure to leave you rolling in the aisles of the cinema in stitches of laughter. Whoever promoted this film should’ve been fired, as THE WEATHER MAN is a dark tale that deals with personal issues in an intimate manner. I agree with the marketing in one way that it does have its funny moments, but it is not slapstick and more subtle. Like I said, fire the marketers.
David Spritz (Cage) is whose story we follow. His career is a success, but his home life is a complete and utter mess. Divorced from his once-happy family, he spends his social life with his kids and does seem to try too hard with them. The problem is though, just like his wife, even they don’t like him. Mike (Hoult) and Shelly (Gemmenne de la Pena) see their father as a joke. They were there to witness the fights their parents very often had, and this has left them with psychological and emotional scars. After all, no one likes seeing their folks argue. To make David’s predicament even worse, his relationship with his father Robert (Caine) has never been peachy. A successful author, he has never taken off the blinkers that would expose what a loving son he has. Theirs’ is a father-son
David then embarks on what can only be described as a soul-searching exercise. He tries even harder with his wife, children and father to make his situation in life better. How his attempts turn out is something I will not reveal, but what I will tell of is that the path on the way to the films conclusion is sure to teach the audience a lesson or two about how even they could go about their daily lives.
THE WICKER MAN and GHOST RIDER; it hurts just to think about them. Cage, stay away from these roles. Roles like this in THE WEATHER MAN is more your territory. Saying that, Cage acts his socks off here with his desperate expressions to the events unfolding before his very eyes very believable. Cage’s spirited performance is a revelation that harks back to the days of THE FAMILY MAN and RAISING ARIZONA when he was offered parts in decent films. Let’s hope that future career roles from 2009 onwards are similar to the one of David Spritz. I always cheer when I see home-grown talent from the UK being given a decent role in a successful Hollywood film. My cheers have never been louder when seeing Nicholas Hoult as Cage’s son. Aged only 16 when this was released, Hoult relishes every screen moment he is given here. His nervous performance reminds this reviewer of a young Richard Burton, minus the welsh accent, and his talents is best seen when interacting with his creepy teacher Russ (Gil Bellows). Since the films release, Hoult has received critical acclaim here in the UK with the most excellent teenager television show SKINS.
To this date, I have yet to see Michael Caine act a sub-standard performance. Even in JAWS 4 he seemed to shine. The cockney accent is long gone from the days of ALFIE and THE ITALIAN JOB, but his talent has not. For some reason, the imbalance of a loving father and cold, heartless bastard is played to perfection here by Caine and, as with his fellow actors, is to be applauded.
In all, THE WEATHER MAN is for certain a classic movie that was never that successful at the time of its release due to those responsible for marketing it. But hey, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION was never a success either at the time of its release but since then has gone on to becoming labelled a classic. I believe the same could happen to THE WEATHER MAN. In this reviewers’ opinion, it already has achieved that status.