The summer movie season started off strong, despite the fact that only one big budget movie was released. That’s probably because this was the week where unique, compelling story lines and intelligent direction came together to create some truly enjoyable films. Welcome to Me is no exception.
I like to say “it’s all been done’ when it comes to movies. For the most part, it’s true. I can think of very few storylines that haven’t been done. Then, I saw Welcome to Me.
Alice Klieg (Kristin Wiig) is a mentally ill woman who is obsessed with Oprah. She hasn’t turned off her TV in 11 years, has very few friends and spends most of her nights surrounded by old VHS tapes of her favorite talk show diva. Then, she wins an $86 million lottery. After being interviewed on live TV and getting cut off, Alice decides she hasn’t gotten enough time in the limelight. So she uses her money to start her own talk show on a cash strapped infomercial channel. There, she starts Welcome To Me, goes off her meds, and creates the weirdest show that ever existed.
Kristen Wiig has some great, awkward charm and she’s a natural as a comedic actress. That’s why it is great to see her as a leading woman for a change. She plays the part of the mentally ill, off her meds, socially awkward Alice with heartbreaking realism. It’s an unusual movie about an unusual person, and Wiig was the ideal choice for the leading lady.
Another thing I like was this is a movie about mental illness that doesn’t attempt to ‘solve’ mental illness. It’s a unique take, in that Alice isn’t trying to get around her disorder. She’s actually using it to her advantage to make her show just as strange as her. I like the fact that they didn’t turn it into a cautionary tale about a woman going crazy. The writing is done in a way that doesn’t make us laugh at Alice, but with her.
Wiig is actually so good in this; she carries the show by herself. While there are a few notable stars, (Tim Robbins as her therapist, for example) Wiig is the one your eyes stay on. While she makes questionable decisions, and is a bit of an oddball, she’s endearing and loveable regardless of what she’s doing.
Sometimes, the awkwardness gets to be too much, like with Wiig’s inability to say the word “carbohydrates” or her segment where she neuters dogs on air, but for the most part, it’s all awkward/funny, not awkward/awkward.
I found many of the subplots were unnecessary and could have been left out entirely. Wiig is entertaining enough on her own to carry this unusual plot. It’ which makes it a pleasure to watch…if you get the chance to see it.
This one doesn’t have a high distribution, so if you live in a major city and get the chance to watch it, I’d give it a shot.
WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!