Welcome to Me: Film Review

welcome2

I love Kristen Wiig so I’m just drawn to every film she’s in but Welcome to Me had an interesting concept, I haven’t seen much of her dramatic work, and she is supported by a terrific cast including James Marsden, Wes Bentley and Tim Robbins. It debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 and was released in the U.S. in May last year – how has it taken this long for us to get it?!

Wiig is Alice, who has a borderline personality disorder and is living alone on disability benefits. She wins $86 million in the California lottery, stops her meds and moves into a Las Vegas casino with her best friend Gina (Linda Cardellini). They are in the studio audience for a cable channel when Alice realises what she wants to do with her money – she wants her own variety show like Oprah Winfrey, except she wants the show to be all about her life. Studio heads Rich (Marsden) and Gabe (Bentley) agree to her idea as they need the money but her show has very little content.

This is funny in a dark, awkward way. Alice says so many hilarious things without realising due to her disability. I do believe it takes the steel of a comedy veteran like Wiig to navigate the serious and light patches. Alice’s temperament is all over the place but she is never a subject of ridicule, and that is pretty hard to do. This is the best acting work I have seen from Wiig and she really gives her all to the part – we literally see her completely naked. Was not expecting that.

welcome1

Watching the embarrassing segments of the Welcome to Me talk show are fun for a while but they eventually become too uncomfortable (the dog castration is too far) and you want them to stop. You don’t want to see Alice humiliate herself even further. Although the main focus is the show, my favourite moments were Alice’s exchanges with her doctor (Robbins), when she realises how her wealth and TV show have alienated her from her friends and family, and the production team’s (including Joan Cusack and Jennifer Jason Leigh) reaction to the whole thing.

Welcome to Me is an odd movie and it won’t please everyone. It made me laugh at loud on occasion because the whole concept was so utterly bizarre. Kudos to Wiig for making Alice grounded and real, the writer Eliot Lawrence for shedding light on mental illness and just the immense cast for being hilarious. It is kinda forgettable though, I struggled to write this just two days later, so I would recommend waiting for the DVD/Netflix cos a cinema watch is not necessary.

In cinemas Friday 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: