Sylvia Miller isn’t the dullest person in Weather Girl, but that’s only because the rest of the characters peopling writer-director Blayne Weaver’s tepid romantic dramedy are even more tedious. When set alongside the film’s stock collection of overgrown collegiate types, sniveling thirtysomething moms, and sleazoid news anchors, Tricia O’Kelley’s utterly bland characterization as the titular newsperson nearly seems alive, even though she’s rarely allowed anything like an interesting utterance.
Starring as the “sassy weather girl” on a Seattle morning television program, Sylvia breaks down on air one morning, publicly accusing her anchorman boyfriend (Mark Harmon) of having an affair with his co-host and flashing the pink panties at the camera to prove it, the first and, until the film’s final scene, last time she registers the slightest hint of personality. Crashing at her obnoxious younger brother’s (Ryan Devlin) bachelor pad, she settles into the frat-house atmosphere, befriending his equally boorish friend and next-door neighbor, Byron (Patrick J. Adams), and searching unsuccessfully for employment. Soon enough she’s banging her brother’s pal (who is—what a scandal!—six years younger) even as they pledge not to let things get serious. You can tell the two are hot and heavy since the first time they start kissing they immediately knock stuff off the shelves, and you know that their vows to keep things informal won’t be respected because that’s the usual trajectory of the genre. As Sylvia’s suddenly wise brother puts it: “Having casual relations with someone with emotions is tricky, man.”
Eventually the film breaks down into a simplistic dichotomy as Sylvia is forced to choose between, on the one hand, her rich ex-boyfriend and a chance to return to her old morning news show and, on the other, her true (if poverty-stricken) love, Byron, and continued unemployment. The film obviously regards its lead actress as a clever, soulful character (the screenplay rather insists upon it) who stands to redeem herself by choosing the proper set of values and asserting herself as a “woman” and not a mere “weather girl.” And yet, there’s little in her characterization to suggest much in the way of discernible brainpower at work; she’s allowed neither outside interests nor anything resembling intelligent dialogue.
Similarly, Byron, who revels in the beer-pounding collegiate lifestyle and who says things like “This place is so gay,” is suddenly revealed to be a sensitive type, which we know because he majored in philosophy as an undergrad and because he’s seen sitting atop a public monument writing in a notebook and waving to a little kid. Yes, he’s just the guy for Sylvia and thank God she realizes it in time. Since while our heroine has earned the right to be with any man she wants (no matter how dull), the one thing not allowed in the film’s fictional world is for her to end up without a man. After all, she’s already—egads!—35 and time is most certainly running out.