Cast: Kristen Wiig, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack
Running Time: 1h 27min
Alice is just like the rest of us. She has a great apartment, she has amazing friends, and she has a great life. However, she does have a few of her own personal quirks. Sure, she’s taped every single episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show, and has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder – but it’s what makes her unique. Oh yeah, and we forgot to mention… she won $83 million in the lottery!
Most of us would spend our lottery winnings on a Hollywood mansion, a sports car or a year-long holiday – but Alice doesn’t want any of that. Instead, she just wants an outlet to enable other people to truly understand her and her life. So, she decides to approach a television station about having her own show, just like her idol, Oprah Winfrey. However, the station soon cuts her off; because they aren’t impressed with her frank and honest discussion about the many romantic partners she’s had in her life. Instead of giving up, Alice travels further afield to make her dream a reality and travels to Los Angeles – the City of Angels.
With her wad of cash in her hand, Alice manages to persuade two struggling brothers to produce her show; Welcome to Me. However, the money has clouded their vision, and they have given Alice free reign over her show. Of course, Alice is overjoyed with the opportunity to show the world what she is really about. Soon, she’s choosing actors for reenactments, entering the studio on a giant swan, and neutering dogs live on air – and the brothers have to make a decision… is the world really ready for Alice?
There are a few ways to describe Welcome to Me – weird, wacky and wonderful. The whole concept of the story is incredibly odd, but one that is unlike any other movie we have ever seen before. There may come a time where you want to stop the movie and change it to something more happy-go-lucky, but once you push through, you realize that Welcome to Me is, in fact, a masterpiece.
Much of the storyline centers around mental health, and the intricacies of Borderline Personality Disorder, but it does not focus on the negatives. In fact, this movie shows the incredible drive, ambition, and uniqueness of Alice and the things that make her tick – but this is isn’t achieved by fictionalizing the whole thing. Instead, the movie is totally real and totally relatable. We flow through the story with Alice, and we feel embarrassed for her for most of the 1h 27 minutes of the movie, but that is the intention. We are going through her life and the many twists and turns that go with it.
One of the most refreshing aspects of Welcome to Me is Kristen Wiig’s step away from popular culture and traditional comedies. Although this movie has aspects of humor, it is not inherently funny. Instead, there’s an undercurrent of satire and humor that interplays with the dramatic monologue and the story of mental health.
Welcome to Me is unlike any other movie out there, and has worked its angles brilliantly. Because of this, we give it four stars.