If a person with a mental illness goes off their meds and wins the lottery, what happens when you let them fund their own talk show with no limits?
Welcome To Me stars Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, The Skeleton Twins) as Alice Klieg, a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder. Her life is mostly spent watching re-runs of Oprah and infomercials, and attending frequent psychiatric appointments. When Alice wins the lottery, she sees this as a new era and decides to stop taking her medication and goes on a spending spree, including funding her dream of having her own talk show.
Studio-head Rich Ruskin (James Marsden, X-Men series, Superman Returns) believes there is potential in her show, despite the rest of his colleagues not on board with the idea. Alice’s show is a display of narcissism and exhibitionism which begins to gather a large following: the food she likes to eat on that particular day, re-enactments of her past experiences, and even neutering dogs (as she used to be veterinary technician). However Alice’s world begins to fall apart around her as things start to go too far.
Welcome To Me is produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay , and directed by Shira Piven (known for her appearances in Step Brothers, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy).
I was expecting the usual farcical buffoonery bro-comedy commonly associated with Ferrell/McKay duo, but surprisingly that isn’t present. Rather this film delves into the realms of dark comedy and drama, written by first-time full-length screenwriter Eliot Laurence, which is refreshing. Wiig is the standout as Alice, finding the right balance between deadpan and quirky, making the character and scenario somewhat more realistic and plausible.
Despite the low budget, independent-film feel, there is an all-star cast attached, including Wes Bentley (Interstellar, The Hunger Games) as Gabe Ruskin, another broken character that can relate to Alice; Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Men) as Alice’s best friend; Joan Cusack (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, My Sister’s Keeper) trying to keep it together as the director, and Tim Robbins (The Lucky Ones, Green Lantern) as Alice’s Psychiatrist.
What does Welcome To Me offer? Expect to feel uncomfortable amongst the laughs, not only for Alice’s intensity and insensitivity, but you’ll begin to reminisce about awkward disasters that have happened on live television in real life. While this film may depict a caricature of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder, you still gain an understanding about the difficulties associated with the condition without the heaviness and slow pace of a complete drama.
Reviewed by Adriana Allman
Rating out of 10: 7
Welcome to Me will be released on DVD and Digital from 20 August 2015.
- Welcome to Me official website
- Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0KEe-hMsLg
- Welcome to Me on Facebook