When I determine whether I like a movie or not, I check my gut. The overall feeling I get about a film resides there. I can like all the components of a film and still come up with "blah" if the mix of those components sits like a rock in my gut.
The Weatherman sits well. Nicolas Cage stars as David Spritz, a down-on-his-luck weatherman (not to be confused with meteorologist) who struggles and strains to get his life in order but keeps making wrong turns. As we join his story, he is separated from his wife (Hope Davis), wondering if remembering the tartar sauce could have saved him from this estrangement. He dreams of landing the big job in New York and having all the broken pieces of his life come together. In the midst of his despair, he is pelted on the street by fast food (an occupational hazard, we're told).
There is a sweetness to this film, as when David takes his daughter to New York with him to get her a new wardrobe and rescue her from her cruel nickname, which I will not reveal.
Michael Caine shines as his father, Robert Spritzel (David changed his surname to make his on-air personality seem more refreshing). His manner is so gentle, caring, and matter-of-fact that we wonder where David's pain originates. He seems to show up at the right time to be the soothing counterpoint to David's turmoil.
The Weatherman is filled with pain, despair, and sweetness and is well worth a viewing. It's directed by Gore Verbinski, who brought us The Ring and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. He's been able to avoid being stuck in a genre so far, and I look forward to seeing what else he has to offer.
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