Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weather Girl (2009)

Weather Girl is the fun yet slightly cliched second film from writer/director and sometime actor Blayne Weaver starring a whole bunch of TV actors including Gibbs from NCIS and Dee from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Found primarily thanks to the quality and humour of Weaver's earlier short Losing Lois Lane (2004), a film that cost the production company $6000 and was intended as a showreel for everyone involved. Not sure if it actually got them more work or if they just ended up more broke than before but it's a fun little film and well worth spending 20 minutes on.

The trailer really does its job a little too well I think. Watch it and you will know exactly what the movie is about, exactly what happens by the end of the movie and probably how it happens. BUT that doesn't really do the film justice. There's a real cute indie feel about it and hopefully people out there who are drawn to a movie that seems like it may offer something a little more than the standard Hollywood genre flicks would give the film a go based solely on this. I had to show Leah the trailer a few times and then insist on watching it in the end before she would choose this over the many hundreds of films I have sitting around waiting to be watched but I think it was worth it.

Synopsisisation on Weather Girl: The Weather Girl, Sylvia (Tricia O'Kelley, imdb says she is most well known for a TV series called The New Adventures of Old Christine, I've never even heard of this show) airs her dirty laundry in public and storms off of her morning TV show; career ruined she moves in with her little brother Walt (Ryan Devlin who doesn't really seem to have been in anything apart from maybe the godawful Marmaduke recently) and tries to get her life back on track with a little help from her brothers friend Byron (Patrick J. Adams whose biggest credit to date was an appearance in Old School) who just happens to have a crush on her.

I'll get this out of the way right up front; I enjoyed this movie, more than I realised at the time of watching and more than Leah did. I may have actually been expecting/hoping for a little more from it and was left a little disappointed after my first viewing but it's another film that stays with you in the weeks after and demands to be watched again.

Blayne Weaver's specialty seems to be in finding the real characters in unreal situations, we may not all be a superhero or on TV but we have all been lost at one point or another, been in love or found that love unrequited and the characters in Weather Girl are identifiable as people you may have met, friends from school etc.

The main trio put in top quality performances; Tricia O'Kelley is excellent as Sylvia, a whiny little bitch, confused and scared by the way her life has gone, completely unsure of herself and surrounded by people who serve to make her feel even worse about herself. Patrick J. Adams, whilst inexperienced, was superb as charming slacker Byron and Ryan Devlin makes wisecracking an art form as the never serious yet always caring Walt but it is the ensemble cast that helps take Weather Girl to a new level of enjoyment.

Jon Cryer who was apparently Ducky in Pretty In Pink and has been cashing in great big fat cheques on a weekly basis for camping it up in the dreadful Two and a Half Men is hilarious as Sylvia's date, the always incredible Jane Lynch nearly steals the movie (as always) with her brief cameo as a restaurant manager, Kaitlin Olson of Always Sunny fame is laugh out loud, piss your pants funny as Sherry, the other woman and Mark Harmon gives a strong comedic turn as the TV anchor sad sack who’s rendered clueless by too many years of forced banter. But for me the best characters are the bitchy best friends Emily and Jane (Alex Kapp Horner & Marin Hinkle, both also famous for being on lame TV shows) who have an amazing rapport with each other and are totally hilarious in a Kristen Wiig kind of way.

Somebody elsewhere has described the movie as feeling like it's been written by two different people and it feels close to the truth, in an almost schizophrenic way the movie slips from a ridiculously funny opening 40 minutes to an overly slow, ordinary ending via a mixture of comedy and drama. Blayne Weaver is the only writer credited with the script so the blame has to fall fully on his shoulders; he writes good situations and creates great characters but his plotting has left a bit to be desired in the drama department through not taking enough chances, the rom-com genre has a whole heap of tired cliches and the completely obvious final act found in Weather Girl is textbook rom-com and this means the film starts to drag.

"you're sexy, in a foreign film kind of way, with the angles and the attitude ..."

The other high point for the film is the dialogue: it is sharp and real and helps to develop believable relationships between Sylvia, Walt & Byron, as well as being at times completely and absurdly funny. It has been written that Weather Girl is like an entire TV season has been condensed in to 90 minutes and I think that may have more to do with the sharp, pithy dialogue than anything else.

Overall Weather Girl is a nice, well made, fun movie, filled with charming performances and is very tightly edited, there's nothing extra, nothing surplus to requirements, every scene is important to the plot and whilst the ending suffers a little through being predictable from the opening scene it takes a few clever turns while heading towards the inevitable happy ending.

Weather Girl (2009) DivX -