The Weather Man (15)

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The Independent Culture

The Weather Man is the second of this week's mid life-crisis comedies - and, again, it's Hope Davis who plays the long-suffering wife. Her husband is Nicolas Cage, a Chicago weather forecaster who is no ray of sunshine, even though his TV persona is so relentlessly smiley that viewers feel moved to throw fast food at him in the street. His marriage has crumbled, his children have delinquent leanings, and he can't win the approval of his dad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist played with more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger authority by Michael Caine.

The film is essentially one long mope, in which the hero's navel-gazing is interrupted only by his clueless efforts to put things right. But with Cage turning in a wonderfully dopey performance, The Weather Man is touching, humane, and often very funny, recognising as it does how much of life's comedy and tragedy comes not from major disasters, but from small indignities - a milkshake in the face, for one.

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