Thursday, 28 May 2015

No.210 : Welcome to Me

Welcome to Me at the IMDb

You now what they should make more films about? Yes, you guessed it - women’s issues - and if I was being greedy I’d go specifically for women with mental health issues - how can that fail to be interesting and uplifting?

To be fair, ‘Welcome to Me’ wasn’t half bad but I was a bit ‘Give it a rest Love’ long before the end.

Kristen Wiig plays the main character, Alice, who is a bit of a misfit who spends her days watching old VHS tapes of ‘Oprah’, mouthing along to the self help message bestowed in each. The rest of her day is taken up with buying her lottery ticket (remember that!) and seeing her patronising psychiatrist Daryl played, in his douche bag mode, by Tim Robbins.

We learn that Alice hasn't been taking her medication and has become estranged from her family and society in general. As unlikely plotting would have it things quickly change when she wins over $80 million on the lottery. Using her un-medicated wisdom she moves into an Indian casino with her friend and starts to watch the infomercials on TV. After visiting the set of one Alice decides to spend her fortune on making her own TV talk show with the help of Cyclops out of the X-men and his hairy brother whom she starts banging for good measure.

Alice’s show ‘Welcome to Me’ looks exceedingly dull and self absorbed but after a predictable montage it becomes an unlikely hit with the clichés of mounting Youtube hits and ‘going viral’ rolled out to suggest the show is hitting a nerve with the public - hey maybe we’re all a bit weird and are outsiders too!

With success within her grasp can Alice continue with her venture as the money starts to run out and will resuming her medication be a good idea?

I quite enjoyed this film but given the cast available I felt it fell short of my expectations. Wiig is convincing as the oddball Alice but I was never endeared to her character or her innocent outpourings of wisdom. I think we were meant to see a universal truth in what she rattled on about but I just found it all a bit tiresome.

There were some good touches like having actors act out scenes from her life on her show but others,  like a week of having animals castrated, seemed weak and unlikely to endear her to the public as was being suggested.

The cast who included the underused Joan Cusack and Jennifer Jason Leigh had little to do as Wiig took centre stage and let no one else have a look in. Still it was a brave performance and by that I mean she takes all her clothes off.

For me there weren't enough laughs to class this as a comedy and as a commentary on mental health and social inclusion it didn't convince. It’s not a complete waste of time, but like Alice’s own show it was too unfocused and half baked to be truly satisfying.

14/23 Best Bit : Where is this casino?

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