Wednesday, May 20, 2015

3 Thoughts on Welcome to Me

1. The trailer vs. the movie - The only thing I knew about this movie was a little blurb in Entertainment Weekly's "Summer Movie Preview" issue. So, I knew the cast, a simple plot description, and that Bill Murray described it as "one of the strangest and boldest comedies he'd ever seen". A Bill Murray seal of approval is a pretty strong endorsement. In choosing a movie to purchase On Demand with my mother, she insisted on this movie. I explained that she probably won't like it because it's a "dark comedy" (to put it bluntly, I knew she wouldn't "get it"). She then played the preview trailer, and before it was even over, she exclaimed "YES! This is what I want to watch!". I couldn't argue with her because the trailer is edited so that it seems like a mainstream comedy. 20 minutes into the movie, and I could tell that my mom HATED it. I don't understand why they market something in such a deceiving way, because, ultimately, it just causes disappointment. Even I expected something a bit funnier - similar to Wiig's last movie, The Skeleton Twins, which handled deep, dramatic themes in a witty, sarcastic way. Welcome to Me is just depressing; bordering on unsettling and horrific. Was it good? Yes. I actually really liked it. The themes are relevant, the acting is raw and unfiltered, and the story is original. I just wish it didn't pretend to be something its not.

2. Narcissism vs. psychopathy - It's known in the movie that the main character suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. That's the whole point of the movie. But in a way, I think the movie has some deep commentary on the narcissistic behaviors within us all. It's all gone a bit too far. And it's all Oprah's fault! I'm kidding, of course, but in this movie, Alice is obsessed with the talk show queen and her only real quest in life is to have her own show to talk about, what else, herself. I admit to having conversations with my bff in college about having our "own" reality show. To us, we were the most interesting people on the planet. However, after suffering the aftermath of the reality tv explosion in which narcissism runs rampant, I just can't stomach it anymore. With the normalizing of extreme narcissism, it's hard to tell if someone is "normal" or suffering a mental disorder. I mean, to me, someone who posts 30 selfies within minutes on whatever social media site they use, is suffering from some sort of state of psychopathy. I'm glad that this movie makes a clear statement on Alice's mental state, because a movie can be made without the references to this disorder, and still be believable in this age of self-absorption that we are living in. It would be even more depressing, though.

3. Kristen Wiig vs. her co-stars - Kristen Wiig is just the fucking best. I can't get over how much I love her. She just owns this character; makes her flawed but still sort of lovable. Even at her most stable moments, you can feel her emotions being stifled, waiting to be set free. The rest of the all-star cast is a bit under-utilized and completely over-shadowed by the one-woman wrecking ball that Wiig embodies. It's almost unfair to them, which, considering the cast includes Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Joan Cusack, seems impossible.

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