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The Weather Man [DVD]
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Nicolas Cage stars in this off-beat comedy as Chicago TV weather forecaster Dave Spritz, who has a love-hate relationship with his public, and with his eccentric family. When he is given the opportunity to move to New York and hit the big time in his career, Dave makes one last effort to reunite his family, from his wayward children, to his father, the famous writer Robert Spritzel (Michael Caine). But the more Dave tries to take control, the more he finds that life, like the weather, is unpredictable.
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However, back in the day he used to be pretty good. Here, his ‘over-acting’ is turned down a notch or two and he does what he does best – give a decent performance. He plays a down-on-his-luck weather man for a (not particularly prestigious TV station. Just because he gets the occasional perk of being a – minor – celebrity, doesn’t mean his life is going that well. His wife has left him and kept the kids and house, his dad (wonderfully played by Michael Caine – sporting an unusual American accent) is pretty aloof, people keep throwing fast food at him on the street and the least said about his estranged kids the better. Therefore, despite his apparently privileged lifestyle, he still has plenty to complain about.
I really enjoyed this film, which Cage bears completely on his shoulders. I really do think it’s his (last) best performance. If there is one criticism that might be levelled at the film it’s that it’s a little ‘unfocused.’ The story doesn’t really go anywhere as it’s mainly about following his life as he tries to… well, just go about his day to day business. There’s no real ‘beginning, middle and end’ as there is with most standard Hollywood films.
It’s a ‘bittersweet’ drama that borders on black comedy. So, if you’re a fan of Cage at his best, or just like dark family dramas which have a touch of social commentary and don’t necessarily go anywhere, you should get something out of this one. Alas, poor Nick we remember him fondly.
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