Thursday, May 14, 2015

[Review] Welcome to Me

Welcome to Me is primarily VOD release, but it shouldn't be slept on, especially if you're into dark indie dramadies and Kristen Wiig.

Alice (Wiig) is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She has messy outbursts, drastic mood swings, and she doesn't like taking her medication. One day, she wins the lottery jackpot (an 86 million dollar payout to be exact). What does she plan to do with all that money? Well, she starts her own network talk show, inspired by Oprah. And she mostly just wants to talk about her own life, or as she more specifically explains: "my spirituality, hopes, dreams, what I like to eat, and who I think is a cunt." Oh, and she demands to enter every episode on a swan boat.

The scenes when the producers talk behind Alice's back about loathing her ideas - begin to border on tragic, whether they think she's ridiculous or are planning to exploit her. Alice's deadpan, black comedy delivery makes for some amusement as she spouts off multiple 'TMI' moments and heavy takes on the human psyche--making things very awkward for the skeptical showrunners, while creating some possibly guilty laughs for us. Alice has a knack for getting cut off during public speeches and being edited when in front of a camera. In a later act, when things begin to hit the fan, a montage featuring "Where Is My Mind?" by the Pixies practically ends before it begins.

Kristen Wiig's performance is endearing and sympathetic, funny and highly emotional, dreary and charming, frustrating and idiosyncratic--and it's still significantly different from last year's Wiig-starring, mental illness themed The Skeleton Twins, which proves her nuanced brilliance and pathos that transcends comedy. The solid supporting cast includes Tim Robbins, James Marsden, and Thomas Mann (from the upcoming Sundance hit Me & Earl & the Dying Girl).

The narrative seems a little thin at times, and it isn't quite as engrossing and heartfelt as The Skeleton Twins. A big part of that is because it lacks the factor of having two complicated characters dueling on screen, because the dynamic chemistry within the roles of Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader were undeniable in The Skeleton Twins. Still, Welcome to Me might be one of 2015's more under-the-radar gems, and it's an impressive addition to Wiig's filmography.


1 comment:

  1. Nice review here, Zach. I enjoyed this film too, but I'm not sure I would've liked it nearly as much were it not for Wiig's performance. She really carried this piece. "Endearing and sympathetic, dreary and charming..." very well said.