Welcome to Me (2014)

When I saw the Skeleton Twins, it changed a lot of what I thought about Kristen Wiig. I had seen her on Saturday Night Live, and she had really seems very constrained by her characters. They all seemed very much the same - the awkward outsider who didn't really understand social conventions and ignored them as a result. But they all really seemed unimaginative deep down.

The Skeleton Twins convinced me that she had depth and breadth that she had not previously tapped into, and now that she was free from the shackles of SNL, she could let the talent flag fly free. That was why I approached this movie with such high hopes. Unfortunately, this was an SNL sketch that had no live audience, and they would not have laughed for most of the film, anyway.

It's a dark comedy (just like The Skeleton Twins) so it's not that surprising that it's not laugh-out-loud funny, but it's just more sad than anything. And it's not sad in the way that it was intended - as we deal with awkwardness and people taking advantage of the emotionally and mentally unstable. Instead, it was sad to think that there were other movies and scripts that got rejected so this one could be produced.

Kristen is a mentally and socially challenged person who happens to win the lottery. She has no idea what real life is like (there is a real question how she manages to get through every day in a very real financial and social interaction way). But, now that she has money, she can do what she will when she wants to. And she has decided that she wants to have her own Oprah-style TV show that is on late at night - so the production quality and time slot of an infomercial.

The whole thing plays out as you might expect. It's a train wreck that has some viral video qualities, but it's ultimately a voyeur's view of the mentally unstable emotional exhibitionist. She has vignettes where her own past plays out in front of the audience, and she interacts with them as if she can change the past by stepping in between the actors playing out the parts that she wrote for them.

The general artistic quality of the movie is similar to The Life Aquatic or The Royal Tenenbaums. It's intentionally shot with long, wide shots and counterbalanced with frantic camera actions to denote the state of the main character at the time. The way people feed off of her and her money feels odd and makes it impossible for the audience to actually like any of the other characters in thee movie.

Story was not good
Acting was good
Direction was okay
Cinematography was okay
Dialog was tolerable

Bottom Line: Even full frontal nudity can't make me recommend it.



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