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The Weather Man is the latest comedy from Nicolas Cage. Great at playing conflicted and/or tormented souls (see Adaptation, Bringing Out The Dead, Lord Of War, Moonstruck), Cage inhabits the character of David Spritz, the weatherman for a Chicago TV station about to audition for the big time in New York. But David is stuck in a personal storm; while he couldn't be a better weatherman, he could've been a better husband to estranged wife Noreen (Proof's Hope Davis); a better father to his two teenage kids Shelly (Gemmene De La Pena) and Mike (About A Boy's Nicholas Hoult), and a far better son to his accomplished father Robert (Michael Caine), who's just been diagnosed with cancer. So what does a depressed fella facing a midlife crisis do turn his rage inward, but dig a black hole of despair and, take up archery... The Weatherman is a little ray of sunshine. While it does resemble a bunch of other films ' namely 'dramedies' American Beauty (1999) and About Schmidt (2002) ' it still has its own unique voice, quietly discussing the existential dilemma facing many trying to balance work, success and family. In places it also turns the spotlight on fame and the disposable, high turnover TV industry. Spritz is a minor celebrity but this doesn't sit well with him either (though his six figure salary does). He feels like he can't get anything right. He doesn't seem to fit anywhere ' in his family's life, in his own skin. The only place he does feel at ease is in front of the green screen at work, pointing and mugging his way through a weather report. Ultimately though this too makes him feel wretched. The Weather Man no doubt will be accused of being a smug and misanthropic take on modern life but I found it hilarious and on the money. Cage easily carries this film; his voice over narration is wonderful, and the performances by the talented ensemble equally entertaining (although Michael Caine does struggle with his American accent, but he always has playing American characters, and his performance as an older man trying to come to terms with a world he doesn't know any more is beautifully understated). Plus there are some killer jokes in this script, the ones that king hit you when you're not looking. And director Gore Verbinski (The Mexican) makes nice work of screenwriter Steven Conrad's words and the slapstick humour. (One of the film's running jokes is that Spritz is continually dogged on the streets by flying debris flung viciously at his head by unappreciative TV viewers. It's both sad and hilarious). Verbinski cannily figured out that the heightened or 'cartoony' visual style he uses in his films (think kids' film Mouse Hunt) would blend perfectly with the more serious adult discussion of The Weather Man. This contrast makes The Weather Man both entertaining and emotionally resonant. The Weather Man is a winner. It breaks the drought of the mediocre studio 'product' that has flooded the movie landscape of late.