Thursday, January 07, 2010

Movie Log: Weather Girl

Beneath the surface of the indy rom-com Weather Girl beats the heart of a deeply mainstream, Hollywood rom-com, and that's mildly disappointing. (Mostly because Weather Girl has an indy budget, occasionally indy-level acting, and an indy-style lackadasical attitude towards plausibility, so this viewer was hoping it would also have an indy disdain for the obvious to add something to the positive side of the ledger.)

That may sound harsh, and Weather Girl is not a movie to be harsh about: it's cute and pleasant, and attempts fitfully to have an at least vaguely feminist message (which it completely undermines at the end, sadly, in the pursuit of a Big Movie Ending), and it's amusing throughout. But it insists on linking its heroine's job and love-life at the end, demanding that she give up the closest thing she has to a career (and, realistically, any chance of ever retrieving that line of work again) for Twu Wuv.

That heroine is Sylvia (Tricia O'Kelly), the "sassy" weather girl on a Seattle morning news show. In the opening scene, she announces to the viewing audience that the standard empty-suit host, Mark Harmon's Dale, had been living with her but has just cheated on her with his dumb-blonde co-host Sherry (Kaitlin Olson), and so quits her job very loudly and colorfully. She then moves in with her younger slacker brother Walt (Ryan Devlin) and starts flirting with Walt's across-the-hall-neighbor/best friend Byron (Patrick J. Adams), while moaning about how she's getting older (35) and has no job or boyfriend or life.

I think you can guess where the plot goes from there: Sylvia can't get another media job, because she's now famous as the girl who told off the host, and she and Byron fall into bed, which leads to standard complications. And then Dale comes back into the picture with a job offer and a romantic offer...the inextricable linking of which I've already complained about.

Weather Girl is a perfectly adequate romantic comedy, with attractive leads who aren't forced to do demeaning slapstick at any point. But it's nothing more than that, and it gets repeatedly clunky in several ways as the plot lumbers along; it's worth a rent during this cold season, bur will be correctly forgotten within a year, if it isn't already.

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