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  Weather Girl

Starring: Tricia O'Kelly, Patrick J. Adams, Kaitlin Olson, Mark Harmon

Directed by: Blayne Weaver

Produced by: Blayne Weaver, Tricia O'Kelly, Steak House

Written by: Blayne Weaver

Distributor: Secret Identity Productions

 
As seen at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival:

     It’s telling of Weather Girl’s quality that standing five feet from supporting actress Kaitlin Olson on the movie’s Los Angeles Film Festival red carpet was more exciting for this “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fan than anything in the movie itself. After a small theatrical release, Weather Girl will premiere on the Lifetime Channel in October and, boy, will it be right at home there.

    The title newscaster is Sylvia (Tricia O’Kelly). In the opening sequence of the film, she has an on-air eruption, deciding she’ll call out quintessentially moronic anchors Dale (Mark Harmon) and Sherry (Olson) on numerous character flaws on the air. Most notably, Dale weaseled his way into a sex-based relationship with Sylvia, only to leave her for his bumbling idiot of a co-host. While the scene leaves Sylvia without a job and all over the Internet in embarrassing form, things slowly but surely turn around for our heroine, as they always do in this type of movie. Circumstance forces her to move in with her brother, Walt (Ryan Devlin), who allows his web-designer friend and Sylvia’s soon-to-be love-interest Byron (Patrick J. Adams) over to use the Internet while his is down. On the emotional rebound, Sylvia once again faces a tough decision when she’s inevitably offered her job back at the station to improve sweeps ratings.

     While Weather Girl is not a painful sit, it never fully realizes itself as a romance, a comedy, or a combination of the two. This problem stems from the way Sylvia is written. In the opening sequence, she is established as a caricature rather than a character, grand-standing in climactic fashion as if only to make the audience hoot and holler at the drama. While very glib, this technique would be OK if writer/director Blayne Weaver’s only goal was to make the viewer laugh at Sylvia the entire time. But instead he targets a more sympathetic portrayal—especially as the movie goes on—and his expectation that we simultaneously treat her as an over-written ploy for laughs and a real human proves impossible. Needless to say, Sylvia’s ensuing lack of authentic emotion means her romance with Byron comes off as artificial, not sweet or compelling. Actress O’Kelly is a champ throughout and tackles the role as best she can, but her attempts are futile within the confines of Weaver’s script.

     Yes, there are select enjoyable moments in Weather Girl, most of which involve actors Harmon and Olson hamming it up for the camera as all-too-realistic news anchors. But given Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s legendary Anchorman already stands as the definitive broadcasting comedy, this disjointed melodrama’s attempts to engage the audience that way seem unnecessary. If you’re bored one day and find Weather Girl on Lifetime when channel-surfing, it’s an acceptable time-killer, but there isn’t any other reason to see it.

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 6.21.2009

Screened on: 6.19.2009 at the Majestic Crest in Westwood, CA.

 

Weather Girl is rated R and runs 93 minutes.


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