In The Weather Man, Nicholas Cage plays Dave Spritz, a TV weather guy who’s oblivious to the fact his empty life is due to an inability to see his own blindspots and flaws and the damage they do. Estranged from his wife, with two teenage kids showing off-the-rail signs and a father (Michael Caine in possibly one of his career best performances) he can't live up to, Spritz is a putz. Even the public regularly lob beverages - milkshakes, sodas - and junk food at him. Waking up is hard to do - and Spritz learns the hard way that it's himself he needs to change.
Steve Conrad's script flashes with insight. Spritz, recalling a failed errand for his wife, gives us his guilty train of thought, a tumble of male preoccupations - work, sex, ambition - that nails in one speech a whole film's worth of comment on the masculine mind. Funny and all too true, The Weather Man faces the facts of human follies and families. And Gore Verbinski steps away from Pirates of the Caribbean and The Ring, to bring an assured directorial hand to a small-scale tale of tragic proportions. The visuals are stunning, with crisp images of ice, snow and chilly grey days.
The Weather Man is a class act and a worthy addition to a growing new genre. If you like intelligent, incisive comedy that's the opposite of escapism, then here’s the news: “wrap up - the chilly-com is here”.