Welcome to Me stars Kristen Wiig as a mentally ill woman who wins $86M in the lottery and puts herself on a TV show that is all about her. Kristen Wiig is fantastic in this part and proves her talent as a dramatic actress with her portrayal of Alice Klieg.
I know you expect comedy from Kristen Wiig, but any humor in this film is dark indeed. I would classify it more as a drama than anything else, even though it details ridiculous behavior on the part of the main character. Don’t expect a broad comedy like Bridesmaids. Welcome to Me is an examination of mental illness, in this case, borderline personality disorder.
Alice imagines herself to be Oprah and has memorized entire Oprah shows. When she puts on her own show, she does strange reenactments of her own life experiences, eats meat cake for 5 minutes with no talking, glides onto the set in a big swan, televises her conversation with her former therapist (Tim Robbins), cuts the testicles out of dogs, and falls apart right in front of her limited audience.
She quit taking her meds, even before she won the lottery, and develops health theories of her own, such as eating string cheese will cure her. When she has money she moves into a casino, which she thinks is her house. By the end of the film she’s completely out of touch with any semblance of reality, wandering naked through the main floor of the casino.
The supporting cast is wonderful. Some excellent actors took very small parts in this film. I mentioned Tim Robbins, who is handsomely professional in his part. Alice’s best friend – amazingly she has a friend – is played by Linda Cardellini. Characters in the TV studio she purchases her way into are played by Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and James Marsden. Loretta Devine plays an attorney who brings news of the 18 lawsuits filed against the production company because of Alice’s reenactments. Alan Tudyk is Alice’s brother.
It may not have been the top movie of 2014, but it is certainly a good movie and worth watching.
Directed by Shira Piven and written by Eliot Laurence, Welcome to Me is currently available on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Watch the trailer in this earlier post.