Web Edition

lead stories
other news



town talk


press releases


last week's issue

real estate
classified ads


For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.

HE'S DEFINITELY NOT SINGING IN THE RAIN: Dave Spritzer, (Nicolas Cage) often feels as if his whole life is one big rainstorm as he works his way through a midlife crisis.

The Weather Man: Nicolas Cage as Morose Newscaster in Mid-Life Crisis Comedy

Movie Review by Kam Williams

Dave Spritz (Nicolas Cage) is Chicago's most popular TV weatherman. Sadly, his cheery on-air persona masks the inner turmoil of an anguished soul adrift in a mid-life malaise. Fans who spot him on the street are surprised that the real Dave bears so little resemblance to the animated, happy-go-lucky newsman they've come to know onscreen.

This contrast doesn't discourage some from asking him for an impromptu forecast on the spot, or prevent others from participating in a ritual which involves pelting him with burgers, burritos, shakes, fries or any other handy fast food.

The insensitive treatment plunges Dave deeper into despair. Despite the fact that he makes $250,000 a year for a job that barely taxes his brain, he is unhappy about his family, each member of which is not only dysfunctional, but in crisis.

For example, he wants to reconcile with his emotionally-unresponsive, ex-wife, Noreen (Hope Davis), before she follows through with her plans to marry the new man (Michael Rispoli) in her life. Dave is just as desperate to win the approval of his terminally-ill father (Michael Caine), a celebrated novelist who has never really appreciated any of what he sees as his son's superficial achievements.

Then there's Spritz's children, 15 year-old Mike (Nicholas Hoult) and 12 year-old Shelly (Gemmene de la Pena). The boy is iseeing a counselor (Gil Bellows) who might be a pedophile; while his daughter is overweight, smokes, dresses inappropriately, and suffers from low self-esteem.

Dave's efforts to juggle this quartet of strained relationships is at the center of The Weather Man directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean). The movie is narrated in a monotone by its protagonist played by Nicolas Cage. Perhaps, with a deadpan delivery, he was going for a droll sense of the absurd. but what ended up on screen proved to be the opposite of engaging.

Crude at every turn, the film is filled with an incessant array of expletives coming out of the mouth of virtually every character, kids included, as if the director's primary purpose is to shock the audience. Plus, there are unnecessarily graphic descriptions of sexuality, plenty of pie-in-the-face slapstick, some nudity and ethnic slurs.

What little plot tension the movie has arrives when Dave is offered a promotion to network headquarters in New York. Will he turn it down to devote time to his family or will he opt for a clean break, and further exacerbate the problems caused by his career choices in the past? Let's just say, some people never learn.

Gross, morose, and depressing, The Weather Man is a gloomy film which would never have been released if the studio had bothered to test market it on focus groups.

Poor (0 stars). Rated R for nudity, explicit sexual content, drug references, violence, crude humor, ethnic slurs, and profanity. Running time: 101 minutes. Distributor: Paramount Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.



Website Design by Kiyomi Camp