Coming to Bluray from director Shira Piven, writer Eliot Laurence and Alchemy comes a dark comedy that offers a “Welcome to Me.”
This film tells the story of Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig), a young woman who continually plays the lottery in an unusual way, but her life is unusual. Finally winning the lottery, she makes significant changes in her life.
Stopping her psychiatric medication and her visits to Dr. Moffet (Tim Robbins), she watches television one night and sees Gabe Ruskin (Wes Bentley) hocking his wares. Getting tickets to the show with best friend Gina (Linda Cardellini), she volunteers herself when he asks for an audience member to come forward. Alice decides the stage loves her and comes up with her own idea.
Inspired by Oprah, Alice meets with Gabe and his brother Rich (James Marsden), producer Dawn (Joan Cusack) and Deb (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to tell them of her idea. Handing them millions of dollars, she wants a show about herself and events that have happened in her life.
Calling the show “Welcome To Me with Alice Klieg,” the show is put put on late night cable. Slowly, more and more people begin to watch, and Alice becomes a cult hit. But the changes in her life begin to put a strain on her relationships especially with Gina and Gabe.
Sometimes having your life on air only sounds good in your head!
Wiig as Alice has the unique ability to bring a character so many dimensions and in this case that is an excellent thing. Alice isn’t a one dimensional character. In fact, from one scene to the next the viewer is never really quite sure who or what they will be experiencing. That’s what makes Wiig’s portrayal of Alice so damn good.
Bentley as Gabe is almost a kindred spirit to Alice, but once her life begins to spiral out of control he steps back and watches it happen. Not sure how to deal with it all, Bentley portrays a gentleness to Gabe when perhaps someone else might totally lose it.
Marsden as Rich is totally in it for the money. Allowing his brother to be the spokesman for an infomercial is just for the money leaving his brother to look a bit silly. Once Alice’s show takes off, he looks to keep the green rolling in caring less and less how out of control everything is getting — including Alice.
Cusack as Dawn knows from the get go that this is just all craziness, but as the show goes on, a part of her gets involved. It is always good to see Cusack because she isn’t afraid to take on roles that aren’t typical and perhaps that’s why I have always enjoyed her performances. Also good to see is Leigh as Deb who also knows the idea is just insane and goes with it for a while until Alice pushes things a tad to far.
Robbins as Dr. Moffet tries to reign Alice in but she constantly challenges him which is easy to do when money makes one brave. Cardellini as Gina is so sweet and supportive of Alice, even when her friend ignores the pain she is going through.
Other cast includes Alan Tudyk as Ted Thurber, Kulap Vilaysack as Grace Dao, Mitch Silpa as Derek, Anelia Dyoulgerova as Magda, Joyce Piven as Miriam Klieg and Loretta Devine as Barb Vaughn.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Welcome to Me” three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a bit of poking fun at late night infomercial television with a crazy twist. The cast really brings it all together playing off one another so really you have to wonder who is crazier – Alice’s idea or those who help make it come true.
Alchemy is a leading distributor of film and television content from theatrical release to DVD as well as digital and VOD. Releasing works of such directors as Oren Moverman, John Turturro, Lee Daniels, Richard Linklater and Werner Herzog, among others, films such as “What Maise Knew” and “Fading Gigilo” are among the more than 1,000 films in their catalog.
In the end — Alice is going to be on television whether you like it or not!