Weather Girl

By Emily Manthei

Blayne Weaver’s romantic comedy, “Weather Girl,” won the audience award at the 2009 Slamdance Film Fest.  The low-budget film, which also played at the Los Angeles Film Fest, will get a theatrical run (starting at the Sunset 5 in July).

 

Tricia O'Kelley plays Silvia, the “sassy weather girl” on a local Seattle morning show, where the film starts. On this particular day, a storm is brewing. As soon as the live show begins, Silvia launches an attack on the show's anchor, her sleazy boyfriend Dale (Mark Harmon) and his co-anchor, Sherry (Kaitlin Olson), with whom Silvia has just discovered Dale is cheating. Her outburst is mostly a diatribe against Dale's slicked-back, smooth talking outer-shell, and the shallow vainglory it proudly displays, exposing the local anchor for everything viewers know their local newsmen to be. When she is finished, Silvia storms out of a relationship, job, and life as she knows it.

 

Silvia then relocates herself to her younger brother's bachelor pad, disturbing the delicate balance of dudes between brother Walt (Ryan Devlin) and his next-door-neighbor/best friend, Byron (Patrick J. Adams). The insensitive younger brother Dale badgers Silvia about getting a job, and lends no sympathetic ear about her breakup. On the other hand, Byron is more than willing to sympathize, by repeatedly petitioning Silvia to date him. While fending off the two younger men, Silvia tries to get her life back in order, but no other news station will have her.

 

Between indignant complaints that her life is falling apart and her friends' unhelpful set-ups with other thirty-something singles who are trying to achieve the marriage/kids/white-picket-fences dream, Silvia agrees to use Byron as a “rebound,” on the condition that he promises not to fall in love with her. As you might imagine, when things start to go really wrong for Silvia (she works in a restaurant and her friends continue to berate her on behalf of her love life), Byron stands by and encourages her.

 

Ultimately, the morning show asks her to return, because viewers are begging to have “sassy Silvia” back, as a co-anchor with Dale, who wants her to come back to him. Blinded by the money, the prestige, and the return to a stable status-quo, Silvia returns to the show, despite rabid protests from her brother Walt, and a heartfelt confession of love by Byron, which Silvia stoically claims not to return. The film climaxes on Silvia’s first day back on the morning show, where another visit from Walt, and finally an appearance by Byron, lead the film to its obvious conclusion.
It may sound formulaic–and the characters do lack dimensionality–but this simple romantic comedy hits all its cues admirably. The humor is dead-on, and the actors, who mostly come from television, give pitch-perfect comedic performances.  Weaver’s script fit O’Kelley like a glove, making their collaboration sweet, funny, and well-timed.

 

Even on their tight budget, the film mostly sells as the commercial-budget rom-com that it’s meant to be, with impeccable production design, and solid cinematography, although the digital look remains a bit of a disappointment on the big screen. The chemistry between O’Kelley and Adams is pleasingly sweet, making this little film a cohesive, constructive, piece, as well as a major career-boosting success for Weaver.

It is refreshing to see this kind of success sans a big budget, huge names, or fancy connections. Blayne Weaver has contributed a feel-good Hollywood popcorn flick that is definitely worth a trip to the cinema.