Picks and Pans Review: The Weather Man

updated 11/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

DRAMA

Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, Hope Davis

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What a curious, uncategorizable movie this is, albeit darkly likable. Shot on a sizable budget, starring Oscar-winning marquee names such as Cage and Caine and directed by Pirates of the Caribbean's Gore Verbinski, The Weather Man is a bleak look at coming to terms with adulthood and the compromises of middle age. It feels like an indie film mistakenly slicked up in an attempt to turn it into a chipper, commercial Hollywood comedy, something it stubbornly refuses to become.

David Spritz (Cage, more dazed-looking than he needs to be) is a Chicago TV weather forecaster under consideration for a network job in the Big Apple. His marriage is kaput, his kids are foundering, and his famous author dad (Caine, superb as ever) is terminally ill. His slow realization that, just like the weather, life is unpredictable and he can't always control it is Weather's theme. Cheery, huh? (R)

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