Sunday, March 19, 2006

If you want your father to think you're not a silly fuck,
don't slap a guy across the face with a glove in front of him
- the Weather Man
In keeping with my tradition of watching a film 365,000 years after everybody else has seen it, I watched The Weather Man last night. What a fine little film. I knew it was supposed to be a black comedy, but the trailers just keep showing people hucking food at Nicholas Cage (the weather man), which leads you to believe that it will be rather slapstick. It's anything but (except for the food hucking parts and even those have a deeper purpose, to illustrate how the weather man's life is akin to fast food, in contrast to his Pulitzer prize winning father, who has impossibly high standards).
The Weather Man is a study into the kinetics of family, of expectations, of disappointment, of ambition. The monochromatic Chicago winter is the perfect backdrop to this man's life.
One scene in particular really wrenched my heart. Cage's character is shopping for clothes with his daughter, a sad, overweight adolescent girl who has a tendency to wear unflatteringly tight clothes. He has heard from his father that she has been called "camel toe" by kids at school. (If you're not familiar with this term, picture female genitalia in too tight pants and you get the picture, if ya know what I'm sayin)
So he asks her (and I'm paraphrasing here): "Do you ever get called names at school, like dummy, say, or camel toe?"
"Yeah", she says, "that one - camel toe".
"And do you know why they call you that?"
"Yes", she replies, "because camel toes are tough. They have to be to walk all those miles across that burning sand."

And while my heart broke for the poor deluded kid, I also knew that she was going to be okay. She thought of herself as tough, and that's 80% of the battle right there.

The Weather Man is not a fluffy feel-good comedy, nor is it a goofy slapstick; it's a thoughtful, beautiful little film. If you haven't seen it, do.


Speaking of videos, have any of you who bought Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit got the version with the DVD? We watched it again this weekend and we firmly maintain that Stuart Murdoch dancing is the most adorable thing we have ever seen in our entire lives. A basket full of kittens pales by comparison.

Any opinions? What's cuter - Stuart dancing or kittens sleeping?


Barbara said...

You are way ahead of me on DVD viewing. I have seen neither.

Ben Heller said...

I've not seen the DVD, but I've seen the Promo to "Funny Little Frog". Great video, great look, great dancing.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Barbara, I don't feel quite so behind the times then. They are both well worth watching. Although you won't find B&S at the video store.

Ben, I wonder if it's the same Funny Little Frog session as on the DVD, or is it an actual music video? The DVD is a mini concert filmed at the BBC. Of course you've seen them live, so you could personally vouch for the dancing cuteness.

Grover said...

Hmm... I know what I'm going to run out and rent tonight, despite my small fortune of amassed late fees to pay. Has Nicholas Cage ever put out a bad movie?

Well, ok, Con Air wasn't the greatest, but otherwise? :-)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Con Air was actually rather entertaining, Andy, Not great, but entertaining. Cage has such an expressive face and nobody does self-loathing quite like he does. Oh God, now I hope you don't hate the Weather Man! (I accept no responsibility for differing opinions!)

Anonymous said...

Most of my movie 'reviews' are from things on DVD/video, so you are not behind. I only go to the theatre when it's something I really want to see right away.

Great review, I will check it out. I had not heard much about this film. That scene with his daughter is what sold me.

Will said...

Haven't see the B&S clip - I guess that's the downside to burning it from a friend.

Haven't seen the Weather Man either, but that sounds like a great scene.

I feel like I haven't contributed much of any value with my comment.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Jacquie, you've just have shattered my illusions! I had pictured you going to all the premieres in your fur and diamonds, hobnobbing with all the Hollywood playas.
Ah well, I still love ya. I hope I haven't spoiled the whole film now with recounting that scene.

Will, if you ever do get a chance to see the B&S mini-concert, it is so worth it. (But then I'm kind of in love with Stuart Murdoch, so I may be biased)
And you could come here and tell me what your cat had for breakfast and I would still be happy to hear from you. The more the merrier!

Barbara said...

Barbara B. I just saw Calgary's 'Rouge Restaurant' featured on 'Creepy Canada'. (My birds were watching the Travel Channel.) Have you ever eaten there or heard of it?

Barbara said...

Barbara B. Watch Air Farce! They do another George S. skit.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Barbara W - I've never heard of the Rouge Restaurant. Why is it creepy? I'm almost afraid to ask.

I don't think I can get around to watching anything more than The Hour tonight. Jeremy will probably put up the video.

Barbara said...

'Creepy Canada' is a show about haunted places in Canada. It's on the travel Chanel. Did you know that Niagara Falls is the most haunted place in Canada?
Isn't that romantic?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Must be all that barrel diving that accounts for that.

Barbara said...

I think it has more to do with the battle grounds from the war of 1812...

Barbara B. I invite your latest comment on an older post of mine with the pic of the CN tower.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

okey doke, I'm on my way over.