This morning I woke up and there was a pubic hair on my pillow shaped like a question mark. And it really got me thinking of unanswered questions, like all the times in my life when I was supposed to feel something but I felt nothing and all the other times in my life where i wasn’t supposed to feel anything but I felt too much and the people around me weren’t really ready for all of my feelings.

Year Released : 2014 Untitled
Director : Shira Piven
Cast : Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Tim Robbins and Linda Cardellini

In recent years there are a few actresses that have appeared in various movies and have a reputation for being funny, even though they aren’t. People like Melissa McCarthy are not funny. If you have to rely on your weight to try and be funny then you’re not funny, you’re a desperate attention whore. I have previously complained that she will be in the new Ghostbusters film, and one of her co-stars will be Kristen Wiig, star of Welcome to Me.

I’m unsure what to think of Wiig. I won’t claim to have seen her in many films but the majority of what I have seen her in is comedies, and she isn’t funny. She plays her roles with a seemingly very deadpan approach, either that or she doesn’t know how to act with emotion. The most enjoyable role I have seen her in is still one where she is very much a secondary character and that is 2013’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”.

When I saw the trailer for this film, it wasn’t one that I was particularly interested in, but Wiig’s performance looked interesting as she plays a character who is mentally unstable, and her style of acting seemed to fit that quite well, so I decided to give it a go when it was sent to me by one of my friends that works at a film studio. I’m not going to lie, if I hadn’t been sent it then I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to watch it, and even now, after watching the film, I am glad that I didn’t have to spend any money on it.

Plot

Alice (Wiig) suffers with Borderline Personality Disorder and cares little for the concerns and lives of others. She also purposefully stops taking her medication, much to the concern of Dr Moffat (Robbins), her psychologist. One night she returns home just in time to see the lottery draw and much to her surprise, she matches all eight numbers and wins more than $80 million.

To celebrate she takes her friend Gina (Cardellini) to a TV show. Whilst there she volunteers for audience participation but quickly turns it into being about herself and she announces her huge win to the nation. The owner of the station, Rich (Marsden), capitalises on this as the station is suffering financially and despite the reservations of every single member of the board, Rich agrees to Alice having her own TV show in exchange for $15m for 100 episodes.

Being a huge fan of Oprah, Alice decides that her show will be a talk show, without guests, music or anything else, and the topic of every single show will be herself. Alice’s show, “Welcome to Me” gets off to a slow start but soon starts pulling in a regular audience, mainly due to Alice’s unusual way of telling stories from her life, however, as time goes on she starts alienating her friends by telling personal stories, as well as getting the station issued with several lawsuits due to slanderous claims against real people.

Alice’s show becomes more and more controversial as she starts castrating dogs live on air and having a psychiatric conversation with Dr Moffat on the show, without his knowledge that the conversation is being televised. However, when Alice realises that she has gone too far, her actions have alienated everyone and she has no-one to turn to, how long can she cope with this?

Untitled

So, worth checking out?

You know what, I’m not actually sure to be honest. It’s been about six hours since I finished watching this film and in that time I haven’t really developed an opinion either way, and that in many ways is this film’s biggest problem, it’s just 90 minutes of “meh”. It’s not awful by any stretch but I can’t bring myself around to describing it as good either, it’s just 90 minutes of nothing being noteworthy.

The best films have a point to them, a moral, a message for you to think of afterwards, but Welcome to Me doesn’t have that at all. None of the characters are particularly relateable in any major way. You can understand them all getting pissed off at Alice’s behaviour, with some characters describing her as a menace.

If anything the character of Alice seems almost too ridiculous to be believable. I’m not going to sit here and claim I know anything about Borderline Personality Disorder but at times it felt like the film were just making her do unusual things for the sake of it, rather than adding any depth to the character. For example, there is a scene where she walks through a casino completely naked (and you see the full on nudity) and there’s just no real need or build up to it at all.

I mentioned in my introduction that the trailer made it look like the type of character that fits Wiig’s deadpan style quite well and that is pretty much the case to be honest. Wiig does a good job portraying a character that has mental issues, and she makes the most of what she is given. I can’t even imagine how hard she found it to keep a straight face when she was describing using masturbation in the way that she does, or finding a pubic hair and using it as a metaphor for life. It’s certainly odd.

welcome-to-me

The other characters are somewhat underdeveloped and one dimensional. Alice has a group of friends and family, and they are under-utilised to the point where when something happens to them, you don’t really care. Even Alice’s love interests aren’t really explored that well and the film suffers from a lack of depth in that respect.

In many ways the film has too many characters. Off of the top of my head I can recall 12 characters, including Alice, but the problem is that Alice is focused on so much that she takes up about 85% of the film, and the remaining 15% has to be spread between the remaining characters and that isn’t a good recipe in a film that lasts just 90 minutes. I haven’t seen so many characters so underdeveloped since the Hobbit trilogy, wherein I couldn’t tell you watch 10 of the 13 dwarves are called.

The one major positive I will give it is that it is quite unique. I can’t think of anything else like it and I can only applaud it for that. It’s not often I see a film that doesn’t remind me of another, or has outright stolen ideas from another, but that’s what you get with Welcome to Me. They have taken their time to think of something completely original.

Other positives for me is that the film is visually fantastic. The locations are used well and the setting of the television studio seems realistic.

I have no idea if this film will be widely released in the UK. It didn’t do well in America at all due to a limited release, and all I know of a UK release at the moment is that it’s going to be at the Edinburgh Film Festival, but other than that I can imagine it will be a straight to DVD release.

29906170001_4216681112001_video-still-for-video-4216596437001

Summary

Well it’s unique, I’ll give it that, but being unique isn’t good enough on it’s own and the film really needed to have more substance to it.

There are too many characters that are barely developed and you end up not caring about them because of this, and unfortunately the character of Alice isn’t developed believably enough to counteract the poor writing for the other characters.

At the time of writing, this film has an average rating of 6/10 and I’d say that is probably about right because without being awful, there’s nothing particularly good enough to take it anywhere about being considered average.

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Comments
  1. garethrhodes says:

    Great review. I love Wiig, particularly how she seems to make these obscure choices. Sounds like this one is a little flat, though.

    Like

    • Kate Jackson says:

      Thanks Gareth. I think the best way to sum up the film would be that it doesn’t seem to have got the message that being random doesn’t necessarily mean it’s funny.

      Like

  2. […] months ago I did review a film starring Wiig, to be more precise “Welcome to Me”, and it was pretty poor, and before I wrote this I looked at Wiig’s filmography, and other […]

    Like

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