Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by:Steve Conrad
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, Hope Davis, Nicholas Hoult, Gemmenne de la Pena, Gil Bellows
Released: March 23, 2006
Grade: B

The Weather Man isn’t anywhere near as good but there are traits which reminded me of American Beauty.  It’s the story of a family where everything looks peachy but in reality, it’s the exact opposite.

David Spritz (Cage) is the weather man who works at a Chicago news network.  He doesn’t have a degree in meteorology but it’s never proved a hindrance.  He just reads what’s on the auto-cue and lets his excitable personality appeal to the viewers.  His enthusiasm is limited strictly to when in front of the camera.  For every other minute of his life, he’s a neurotic depressant who seldom shows his emotions.

David number one goal appears to be reconciling with his ex-wife, Noreen (Davis).  She has moved on and found a new boyfriend but David cannot comprehend this and still thinks he has a chance.  Trapped in between is their teenage son, Mike (Hoult), who is being seduced by his male guidance counsellor, and their younger daughter, Shelly (Pena), who is over-weight and gets teased at school for wearing inappropriate clothing.  Are you getting the picture as to how messed up this scenario is?

The film’s quirkiness is a positive attribute.  This isn’t a standard drama and there are moments which will catch you off guard.  Events happen which are unexpected and characters blurt out profanities at the most unlikely times.  Writer Steve Conrad and director Gore Verbinski (Pirates Of The Caribbean) deserve credit for taking a gamble on something off-beat.

Sadly, The Weather Man doesn’t eventuate into much.  The opening attracted my interest but the film lost its adventurousness in the later stages.  It panned out as expected and didn’t offer much in the way of a satisfactory resolution.  What was the point of it all?