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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, May 1st, 2015

FILM: Welcome to Me

welcome to me 2

A serious film tackling the delicate topic of mental illnesses is probably not what one would think of when one hears the names Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, but that is indeed what one gets with the new film, Welcome to Me. The film is produced by Ferrell and McKay and stars Wiig, whom most people probably still associate with such SNL characters as Gilly, Target Lady, Aunt Linda, and the sister with the tiny hands on the Lawrence Welk Show. Though portions of the movie are very serious, a good deal of it is also very funny as well.

As the movie opens, we meet Wiig’s character, Alice Klieg, a woman who suffers from a variety of mental illnesses, including borderline personality disorder and who also appears to have every episode of Oprah not only recorded on VHS, but memorized word-for-word, which she recites back at the TV while she watches. Soon after we meet her, Alice wins the $86 million lottery and decides that with her winnings, she wants to hire a small production company to create a talk show featuring just herself, where she would ride onto the stage in a giant swan and then proceed to talk about herself for hours at a time. Costars Tim Robbins (Alice’s psychiatrist), Joan Cusack and James Marsden really help to heighten some of the funny parts further. We see her cook various recipes, reenact scenes from her life with the help of some actors, have a session with her psychiatrist over the phone, and eventually neuter several dogs. As the production goes on, week after week, we witness Alice, who is clearly off her meds, begin to seriously unravel on live TV.

Though this certainly isn’t the first movie to depict someone battling a mental illness, there’s still something truly original about it, not just in the overall plot, but in the small details. Alice is in no way a stock character, as is suggested by her clothing (she’s always wearing a little blue fanny pack), her apartment (filled with swan decorations), her love of pudding, the fact that her TV hasn’t been turned off in 11 years, and even the fact that she lives in Palm Desert (once she wins the lottery, she moves into a casino hotel there) and goes on dates to a very dated-looking roller rink. Though possibly too bizarre and maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, I thorough enjoyed Welcome to Me, for its balance of humor and seriousness as well as it’s wonderful originality.

Welcome to Me stars Kristen Wiig, Wes Bentley, James Marsden, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Linda Cardellini and is now in theaters.

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FILM: Welcome to Me