There is no question Kristen Wiig is one of the most talented comic talents out there. With several Emmy nominations for Saturday Night Live and an Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids which she co-wrote and starred in, she has conquered both TV and movies. But as I say in my video review above, it seems of late she has wanted to show off a more serious side, and has clearly been attracted to independent movies that don’t always meet her potential.
Now she’s at it again in Welcome To Me, an odd mix of broad comedy and awkward dramatics that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September and opens in limited release today. Wiig’s comedy stylings and many of her strengths are on full display here as she plays a woman with borderline personality disorder who wins an $86 million lottery and decides to buy her way into her own TV talk show. A self-professed Oprah nut, she arrives on stage for each show in a swan boat and gives her own twisted views on everything from cooking to relationships to neutering dogs (which she does live on air).
Some of this, particularly in the film’s first half, is quite funny, but it gets darker, more edgy and uncomfortable as it goes on, and a sequence in a store where she bravely goes fully nude is really weird. For mainstream fans of Wiig, Ghostbusters 3 and Zoolander 2 probably can’t come soon enough, but you have to give her points for seeking out different material and roles that are, at the very least, unexpected. In this case it’s a mixed blessing — Welcome To Me is almost like the kind of sketch you would see in the last half-hour of SNL — but it’s a must for true followers of Wiig’s wildly eccentric film career.
The supporting cast is quite fine and includes James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins and Linda Cardellini. Shira Piven directs from Eliot Laurence’s screenplay. The long list of producers includes Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Aaron L. Gilbert, Marina Grasic, Adam McKay and Wiig. Alchemy and Millennium are distributing in the U.S.
Do you plan on seeing Welcome To Me? Let us know what you think.