The Weather Man is a 2005 American comedy-drama film, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Nicolas Cage. The film is about David Spritz (Cage), a successful weatherman on a Chicago news program, who is seen by both others and himself as a failure in all areas of life outside his career. The film was written by Steven Conrad.
Chicago weatherman David Spritz (Nicolas Cage) spends his time in a daze. His job pays well, but he finds it unsatisfactory that it doesn't require much except to speak and point, and the weather forecasts he reads are often inaccurate. While he's a local celebrity, his fans are not kind to him; once every few months people throw fast food at him. He also remarks that people don't like him because he has low self-esteem and people who do like him like him because he's on TV.
Dave feels inferior to his father Robert Spritzel (Michael Caine), a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Robert has lymphoma and possibly only a short time to live; he deals with that in a quiet, dignified manner. Robert is concerned with Dave's apparent inability to grow up, while Dave is anxious to redeem himself in his father's eyes.
Dave has recently applied for a position as the weatherman on a national show called "Hello America" which is hosted by Bryant Gumbel, and represents a much, much higher salary than the already high salary Dave has, but also would mean a relocation for himself and possibly his whole family (provided he can reconcile with Noreen) Dave sees this job opportunity as a final way to prove himself to his father and make him proud before he passes away.
Dave has a 12-year-old daughter Shelly (Gemmenne de la Peña) who smokes and is obese and teased by her classmates, who call her "camel toe" because her genitals show through her tight clothing. While picking up Shelly from her dance lessons, Spritz flashes back to a time where he bought her expensive archery lessons, which his daughter quickly lost interest in. Dave also has a 15-year-old son Mike (Nicholas Hoult) who has had some trouble with the law concerning drug use. Mike is creepily befriended by his rehab counselor Don (Gil Bellows), who is very generous. However, it is suggested that Don has a sexual interest in Mike. Don suggests that he take photos of Mike from time to time to document his progress in bodybuilding. Mike agrees, and allows Don to take photos of him shirtless.
Dave attempts to reconnect with Noreen by going to a group therapy session for couples, performing tasks like catching the other when they fall backwards and the like in order to build trust. Dave ruins the entire ordeal, however, when a task comes up in which each person is told to write something about their partner that they always hated on a piece of note paper, give the note to their partner, and then never read the note they've received in order to show trust to one another. Dave sneaks into the bathroom during a break and reads Noreen's note about him, then later confronts her about it, infuriating her and initiating a very bad argument.
As he becomes more and more unnerved, Dave decides to use up the remaining archery lessons he purchased for his daughter by himself, finding it gives him peace and quiet and also an activity which builds his focus.
When "Hello America" invites Dave to interview with them in New York, he decides to bring along Shelly since he has not yet had a chance to talk with her about her classmates calling her "camel toe". Also coming along is his father seeking a second opinion on his lymphoma from a doctor in New York. While trying to talk to Shelley about the name-calling, Dave finds himself unable to, and so instead remedies the problem by buying her a bunch of new clothing (mostly dresses) so that she will not be called "camel toe" anymore. It is later revealed over the phone to Dave, however, that back in Chicago, Mike has punched Don in the face; Robert claims that Don wanted to perform oral sex on Mike, while Don claims that Mike wanted to steal his wallet. Compounding everything, Dave's father, Robert, tells him that the second opinion he sought turned out no different, and that he has only months to live. Sad and depressed, Dave stays up all night drinking, and appears in no shape to perform well on his "Hello America" interview the next morning. Surprisingly enough, however, he performs just fine and manages to really impress his interviewers.
When Dave returns to Chicago, he finds that because he was in New York City interviewing with Hello America and unable to help with Mike's problem, Russ has stepped in in his absence. Although Dave is interested in Mike's well-being, he does not even let Russ finish his account, and slaps him in the face with his gloves, apparently because he cannot stand that Russ is now the person dealing with Mike's problems, and further infuriating his wife Noreen, and worrying his father as well. Later Dave beats Don up in a rage to try and rectify the situation. Mike is relieved to find out from his father that Don won't press charges, particularly after Dave's violent confrontation. Robert also approves of Dave's defense of his son.
Dave is offered a place on Hello America that requires a move to New York. He hesitates, since he would be far away from Noreen and their children, unless the family is reunited, and they can also move to New York.
The family decides to hold a living funeral for Robert to give friends and family members a chance to say the things about him they'd like to while he is still around to hear it. Dave tells Noreen that he has been offered the job on "Hello America" and asks her for a final time if she will reconcile with him, only to find out she has decided to marry Russ. On top of all this, due to a power failure, Dave's is forced to abort his speech to his father after only saying: "When I think of my dad, I think of Bob Seger's "Like a Rock", robbing him of what he perceived to be his last chance to say something that would make his father proud and happy.
Later, however, Robert flags Dave down in his car, plays the Bob Seger song he'd mentioned earlier, and asks Dave to explain his remark. Dave explains that he feels Robert has always been strong and stands "proud and tall, high above it all", as in the song. As the pressure has really gotten to Dave at this point, he breaks down in tears telling his father that he was offered the "Hello America" job, but that his wife will be marrying Russ. Robert tells consoles Dave, by telling him that not everything in life goes as we'd like, and that he really is proud of his son, especially for being able to land the "Hello America" position.
Soon afterward Dave accepts the job, and soon after that, Robert dies. Dave's former resentment for his fans, a reflection of his own low self-esteem, has gone away now that he has gained his father's approval and learned to accept and be happy with his life. People do not throw things at him anymore, though he bemuses 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 Gumbel and other morning show castmembers. 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."