Saturday, August 1, 2015

Indie Review: Welcome To Me (2015)

                     
             
          'Welcome To My' Review Of This Latest Dramedy Gem By Kristen Wiig

       When you see your favorite celebrity on television or on YouTube, when they are accepting an Oscar or sitting on court side seats at a Lakers game, do you think to yourself, "Ugh, I wish I had all that"? Well, it's not just you as this film demonstrates that kind of influence of media culture while also throwing in themes of mental illness.

       Story:
      Welcome To Me follows the story of a woman named Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig) who suffers from borderline personality disorder and spends her time buying lottery tickets and watching Oprah. When she ends up winning the lottery, she decides to use her winnings to start her own show devoted entirely to her own life.

      Ups:
     I'll start off with Kristen Wiig. While the character of Alice seems pretty unlikeable and selfish, Wiig manages to use her quirky charms to make her more endearing. Plus, she not only has great comedic timing, but she nails the tragedy within the comedy as well and while I enjoy watching her in comedies, kudos to her for tackling films where she stretches her dramatic chops.

      I also thought it was interesting how the film is a character study that also works as a film that demonstrates the power of media as well as materialism. Some of the film's best scenes are the ones where Alice is doing her show and re-enactments of events from her life are taking place. In those scenes, we get to see more of her backstory and see her more vulnerable side. Also, the media and materialism aspects that I think really worked are how Alice always watches and observes Oprah, hoping to become like her. A lot of us common folk want to become people like Oprah or Steven Spielberg and when we see our favorite celebrity on television and YouTube or when they post pictures of their nice houses and such, we usually never come up with a plan to become them. We just fantasize and look at the screen without a complete plan to make it happen. So I think the film is very realistic in that regard. Even if the whole concept of a mentally ill woman having her own talk show isn't, there is still plenty of truth to be found.

     Downs:
    This is more nitpicking than anything else, but I wasn't crazy about some of the song choices incorporated in the beginning of the film. Other than that, there are no downs.

     Consensus:
     Overall, Welcome To Me is a quirky dramedy that works as both a character study on mental illness and a demonstration on the power of materialism. It features a brilliant performance from its leading lady and after seeing it, has me thinking about how I view celebrity culture and I appreciate a film that makes me think.

     Would I Recommend It?:
     Yes if you are a Kristen Wiig fan. But if you're not a fan of these kinds of quirky indie dramedies, this might not be for you.

Grade: A-