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The Weather Man

The Weather Man is a 2005 American dark comedy-drama film directed by Gore Verbinski, written by Steve Conrad, and starring Nicolas Cage in the lead role and Michael Caine and Hope Davis in supporting roles. It tells the story of a weatherman in the midst of a mid-life crisis.

The Weather Man

A successful weatherman at a Chicago news program, David Spritz (Nicolas Cage) is well paid but garners little respect from people in the area who throw fast food at him, David suspects, because they're resentful of how easy his high-paying job is. Dave also feels overshadowed by his father, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Spritzel (Michael Caine), who is disappointed in Dave's apparent inability to grow up and deal with his two children. The situation worsens when Robert is diagnosed with lymphoma and given only a few months to live. As he becomes more and more depressed, Dave takes up archery, finding the activity a way to build his focus and calm his nerves.

To prove himself to his father and possibly reconcile with Noreen (Hope Davis), his estranged wife, Dave pursues a weatherman position with a national talk show called Hello America. The job would nearly quadruple his salary, but means relocating to New York City. When Hello America invites him to New York, he takes his daughter, Shelly (Gemmenne de la Peña), with him and bonds with her by helping her shop for a more suitable wardrobe. While away, Dave learns that his son Mike (Nicholas Hoult) attacked his counselor, Don Bowden (Gil Bellows), claiming that the man wanted to perform oral sex on him. Despite this stress and an all-night drinking binge, Dave impresses the Hello America interviewers and is eventually offered the job.

We think of tragic heroes outlined against the horizon, tall and doomed, the victims of their vision and fate, who fall from a great height. "The Weather Man" is about a tragic hero whose fall is from a low height. David Spritz (Nicolas Cage) is a Chicago weatherman whose marriage has failed, whose children are troubled, whose father is disappointed, and whose self-esteem lies in ruins. "All of the people I could be," he tells us, "they got fewer and fewer until finally they got reduced to only one -- and that's who I am. The weather man."

There is nothing ignoble about being a weatherman, especially in Chicago, where we need them. David's fatal flaw (all tragic heroes have one) is that he does not value his own work. Perhaps his broadcast viewers sense that, which is why they throw fast food at him from passing cars. They sense that he has embraced victimhood, and are tempted. To feel inadequate is Dave Spritz's life sentence. His father Robert (Michael Caine) is a famous novelist who won the Pulitzer Prize, and who has always been disappointed in his son -- disappointed, we sense, at every stage of Dave's life, and by everything that he has done.

In Robert's mind, it's not that Dave is a weatherman, but that he is a bad one. He hasn't done the homework. He's not even a meteorologist. He gets the weather off the news service wires. "Do you know," his father asks him, "that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing?" Dave has made life easy for himself, but Robert tells him, "Easy doesn't enter into grown-up life." Dave's life does indeed seem easy. He does the weather for two hours a day with hardly any preparation and makes the occasional personal appearance; we see him in costume as Abraham Lincoln.

Long-term patterns are difficult to break out of. I say this when we go through dry periods, and I say this when we have we go through wet periods. This situation will be no different and I believe this prolonged period of cold wet weather will impact our weather through the summer. It is too early for me to put forth any data-driven forecast or refer to any modeling regarding the monsoon season but my instincts tell me an above-average monsoon season is on the way.

Motion pictures don't have a high opinion of weather men. From the cynical opportunist played by Bill Murray in Groundhog Day to the vacuum headed character essayed by Steve Carell in Anchorman, on-air meteorologists are targets for satire and derision. The Weather Man doesn't really change that, but at least it takes its subject and subject matter seriously. David Spritz (Cage), the pride of Chicago's Channel 6, is as clueless about where the winds are blowing his personal life as he is about where they are blowing the next storm system. By his own admission, David only has a job - and a chance at a position on a national morning show - because he knows how to work a green screen. Other talents, such as the ability to accurately predict the weather, are irrelevant. If you watch the local news, you know the kind of weatherguy David is: a personality without a meteorology degree, he takes credit for the good predictions and distances himself from the bad ones. Maybe that's why people throw things at him (fast food, sodas) when they see him on the street.

Who gets to be wrong half the time and keep their job? Weatherpeople! James Spann, chief meteorologist at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama, has heard the joke a thousand times. And in some ways it's true. There's a lot meteorologists understand about weather forecasting, but there's even more they don't. They face uncertainty every single day and, when it comes to severe weather, how they navigate that uncertainty matters - it can get people killed, it can save lives. In this episode of Invisibilia, we explore our relationship with uncertainty through the eyes of a chief meteorologist. We wonder: what do you do when you don't know what to do? And how do we handle it when that question has no answer?

"David, I've practiced and I've gotten good. Like you and the weather business ... But I don't predict it. Nobody does, 'cause i-it's just wind. It's wind. It blows all over the place! What the fuck!"

The existential suffering of Nicolas Cage's character in Gore Verbinski's "The Weather Man" can be traced straight back to an old B. Kliban cartoon showing two news anchors introducing the grinning idiot to their side with the words, "And now here's the weather, with our weather asshole." Cage's Dave Spritz is that weather asshole, a Chicago TV weather guy who gets no respect. He admits his job is easy money, and you have to admire his forthrightness: When you see him working his weather-guy tai chi in front of a blank green screen, you wonder, How hard could it be?

But Dave's semi-fame has a downside. He can't walk down the street without having joyriding teenagers pelt him with milkshakes and McDonald's hot apple pies. Even if those kids have never seen that B. Kliban cartoon, they've absorbed its meaning into their very bones. Dave's job has caused even bigger problems at home: Apparently, his weather-guy temperament -- whatever that is -- has caused him to become disconnected from his two kids and his wife, Noreen (Hope Davis, playing the latest in her series of perpetually annoyed characters). And he knows that his father, Robert (Michael Caine), an award-winning novelist, believes him to be something of a putz, not to mention that he's always rebuking his son for the way curse words flow so freely from his lips when his family exasperates him to the breaking point.

"The Weather Man" isn't really about weathermen per se, but about every guy (and the focus here is decidedly on men) who's ever hoisted himself up the career ladder only to look down and wonder, What have I done with my life? And you don't have to be a middle-aged man (or even just middle-aged, or a man) to sympathize with Spritz -- although even just writing that phrase somehow, inexplicably, makes me want to kick him.

Dave's self-involvement is so extreme that he can't see that the bluntly human weaknesses of the people around him aren't his fault. We both pity him and want to shake him; eventually, though, we just become bored by him. We feel Dave's shame when his own father tells him that the undeniably chubby Shelly is being teased at school for wearing too-tight pants, something Dave wasn't astute enough to pick up on himself. But isn't a retired granddad perhaps more likely than a frazzled dad to catch something like that? Similarly, we never know what (if anything) Noreen does for a living. Looking after two kids is plenty, but then, doesn't she bear equal responsibility for not recognizing that her daughter is leaving the house with "camel-toe"? Mostly we just see Noreen fluttering, in her perpetual state of nervous agitation, around the large, beautiful suburban house that Dave's weather-asshole salary paid for.

David Spritz (Nicolas Cage) is a middle-aged Chicago TV weatherman who is not pleased with himself. Instead of operating out of the core of his own being, he has spent most of his time worrying about what others think of him. The results are not uplifting. While on the surface David's job seems very rewarding — he receives a six figure income for working two to three hours a day — he is disheartened because this is not what he thought he would be doing with his life. When the possibility of forecasting the weather for " Hello, America," a New York based national television show comes his way, he views it nothing more than "a shot in the dark."

Another thing that brings him down is the disapproval of his ex-wife Noreen (Hope Davis) who has turned to another man (Michael Rispoli) since she found David impossible to live with. Thanks to an overactive monkey-mind, this weatherman always has a hard time remembering what he is supposed to purchase when he goes shopping. To complicate matters even more, he usually only carries one dollar in his wallet.

THE WEATHER MAN focuses Chicago weather man Dave Spritz (Nicolas Cage), who sees a possible job opportunity on a NYC morning show as an opportunity to reunite with his ex-wife Noreen (Hope Davis), though she has a new boyfriend, Russ (Michael Rispoli). Dave also struggles to appease his two kids who feel abandoned by their father and act out in various ways. Son Mike hopes that his counselor will provide the support and approval he seeks, but the man has other ideas (he tries to seduce Mike, awkwardly and disturbingly). Dave also can't win over his slightly overweight daughter who has turned her insecurity into a surly front. Dave's general inability to pay attention results from his relationship with his own father (Michael Caine), who disdains him and is now dying. Unable to cope, Dave continues to look for attention from others, even though his minor celebrity also brings him grief. 041b061a72


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