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The Weather Man is a 2005 dramatic film with dark comedic moments, directed by Gore Verbinski. Written by Steve Conrad, it stars Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine and Hope Davis and tells the story of a weatherman on a Chicagomarker news program, who is seen by others and himself as a failure outside his career.

Released on October 28, 2005, the film was a box office bomb, with a total gross of $19,039,770 worldwide. However, The Weather Man was better received by critics, with mixed reviews, who praised the performances and drama, while others had trouble with the film's plot.

Plot

A successful weatherman at an Chicago news program, David Spritz is well paid but recognizes his job requires little more than speaking and pointing. He thinks most people like him only because he's on TV. For some reason, people occasionally throw fast food at him as they drive by. Recently separated, his wife, Noreen, has possession of their two kids. Dave is openly antagonistic with her new boyfriend, Russ.

Dave's 12-year-old daughter, Shelly, is an obese smoker, bullied by her classmates. Dave caters to his daughter's interest in activities even though she quickly drops them; archery for example. Dave's 15-year-old son, Mike, is befriended by his counselor, Don, an overly generous single man whose interest in Mike is troubling.

Dave is inhibited by his highly successful father, Robert Spritzel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Robert is concerned with Dave's apparent inability to grow up and deal with his children, while Dave is anxious to redeem himself in his father's eyes. Robert is diagnosed with lymphoma and although given only a few months to live, he remains dignified.

Dave pursues a weatherman position with the national "Hello America" show. The job would nearly quadruple his salary, but means relocating to New York City. He sees this job as a chance to prove himself to his father and possibly reconcile with his wife.

Dave attempts to reconnect with Noreen by attending group therapy. He stupidly ruins the effort by betraying Noreen's trust and initiates a heated argument.

As he becomes more and more unnerved, Dave takes up archery, finding the activity a way to build his focus and calm his nerves.

"Hello America" invites Dave to York. He brings Shelly so he can talk to her (especially about her classmates calling her "cameltoe"). He skirts the issue by buying her a wardrobe of dresses and skirts. Dave's father also travels to NY to see a specialist. Dave learns that, back in Chicago, his son attacked his counselor. Robert claims that the counselor wanted to perform oral sex on Mike. Depressed over this and his father's expected demise, Dave stays up all night drinking, despite the "Hello America" interview the next morning. Surprisingly, all goes well and he impresses his interviewers.

Dave returns to Chicago to find Noreen's boyfriend dealing with the Mike situation. Out of the blue, Dave strikes Russ with his gloves in front of Noreen and Robert, who are stunned. Dave later confronts the counselor at his home and attacks him in a furious rage.

Dave is offered the "Hello America" job. He hesitates because it means being away from Noreen and the kids.

The family holds a living funeral for Robert. Dave asks Noreen to reconcile and move to New York. She has decided to marry Russ. To calm his nerves, he practices archery on the lawn. When Russ steps out, Dave draws the arrow on him and holds it, preparing to shoot. Russ, unnerved, goes back inside. Dave begins his formal speech to his father "When I think of my dad, I think of Bob Seger's "Like a Rock." The power goes out. When the light come back, everyone forgot that he had just started his speech so he never completes it.

Later, Robert plays the song Dave mentioned in the speech. Dave explains that Robert has always been strong and stands "proud and tall, high above it all." He breaks down in tears telling his father that he was offered the job, but that his wife will marry Russ. Robert consoles him by explaining that not everything in life goes as we'd like, and that he is proud of his son for being able to land the "Hello America" position and also for Dave's defense of his son. Robert admitted to reading Dave's, admittedly poor, attempt at a novel. Robert explains that it takes years to be a good writer and Dave spent all those years learning to be a good weatherman and that's an accomplishment, particularly highlighting his son's success in landing such a lucrative position. Eventually, Robert has a real funeral and at that time, Mike reveals to his father the aspirations to be a cameraman for Monday Night Football, which makes Dave visibly proud.

Dave accepts the job. Dave's former resentment for his fans, a reflection of his own low self-esteem, has gone now that he has gained his father's approval and learned to accept his life. On the weekdays he returns to Chicago to see his kids. People do not throw things at him any more, though he muses that this may be a pleasant side-effect of his archery hobby, for which he carries a bow around.

The film ends with a parade, in which Dave rides on a float with his fellow cast members. He notes how he's behind the NYC firemen, but ahead of SpongeBob SquarePants. He is satisfied with this and his "American accomplishment." The film ends with a close-up of Dave waving as he says, through narration, "Hello America."

Cast



The film also includes cameo from news presenters, such as Bryant Gumbel, Ed McMahon, Cristina Ferrare, and Wolfgang Puck.

Reception

The Weather Man received mixed reviews, gaining an overall score of 57% on Rotten Tomatoes. and 61% on Metacritic.

The film was released in North America on October 28, 2005 and ran for nearly eight weeks (precisely 54 days). It grossed $12,482,775 domestically and $6,556,995 at the foreign box office, a total of $19,039,770.

References

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