What are your three favourite Nicolas Cage movies? Everyone’s list is different. Mine would look different from my sister’s, who is admittedly more of a National Treasure fan than me. I actually have four. Raising Arizona, It Could Happen To You, Mom and Dad, and Color Out of Space. (Oh gosh, and who doesn’t love City of Angels?) A couple of deep cuts from early in his career, to some more recent ones that push the envelope.
That’s funny because, around the time The Weatherman was filmed, I wouldn’t have called myself a Nicolas Cage fan. Nic Cage has had a storied career, but he is an acquired taste for some.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Tom Gormican, That Awkward Moment, Ghosted) is a film I could probably add to my list of favourite Nic Cage movies. The man has had a prolific career, and it’s neat to see a movie pay homage to that. The film is surprisingly smart and self-aware, even for a meta-comedy with some fun melodrama.
Serious Cage fans will have fun spotting the references to his movies scattered throughout The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten (Desperate Housewives, Reaper) have penned a screenplay that packs as many Cage movie references into its runtime as possible, with everything from Leaving Las Vegas to The Rock making it in.
Nicolas Cage (born Nicolas Kim Coppola – yes, those Coppolas) plays a fictional version of himself in the new comedy starring himself and Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian, Narcos, Wonder Woman 1984). After being out of work for quite a while, Cage is broke. His family is embarrassed by his inability to get his act together. Mostly they’re embarrassed by his inability to quit jockeying for attention and the spotlight.
Desperate to pay the bills and get back in the good graces of his ex-wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe, Game Night ) and teenage daughter Addy (Lily Mo Sheen, Everybody’s Fine, Underworld: Evolution), he’ll take almost any job he can get. Even though he initially turns up his nose at an offer made by his agent Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris, Gone Girl, The Matrix Resurrections). The offer is for Cage to go to exotic Spain for a cool million to speak at the birthday party of an eccentric billionaire, Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal). Javi is a huge Cage fan, and Cage accepts.
A look at The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent would be remiss without a proper nod to Pedro Pascal and his work. A young, mainly TV actor without the same body of work behind him that Cage does, Pascal still has the acting chops to keep up to Cage here. It’s tough to not enjoy everything Pascal works on. Not keen to just coast on his good looks, Pascal has made a name for himself for doing family fare as well with Jon Favreau’s smash hit TV show The Mandalorian from Disney+.
In The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Pascal plays the super sweet, oblivious film buff Javi Gutierrez to perfection with his own brand of charm. While there’s more to Javi than meets the eye, there’s something refreshing about a superfan of a celebrity not being creepy, for a change. There were a lot of gags that had me laughing, watching the pair of them get up to their hijinks. Their onscreen bromance and chemistry are one of the funniest things about the film, and their blossoming friendship is more fun to watch than any run-of-the-mill Hollywood romance would be.
Lionsgate released The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent on April 22nd and it’s now playing at a multiplex theatre near you. And if it isn’t, FilmTagger has some suggestions to hold you over until it is.