Film Review: Welcome To Me

Welcome To Me

Director Shira Piven’s Welcome To Me is an amusing comedy drama. The film has an air of authenticity, in spite of some outlandish action.

Alice Klieg suffers with borderline personality disorder, but she has her routine of watching tapes of Oprah Winfrey’s shows. When Alice wins millions on the lottery, she decides that she wants her own show. The subject of the show? Alice herself…

Welcome To Me is an original comedy drama that highlights the performance of its protagonist. Writer Eliot Laurence has crafted an unusual story that engages throughout. The film balances humour with more serious aspects in a natural way.

With a protagonist who has borderline personality disorder, there could be a danger that this could be poorly portrayed. Thankfully, Laurence eschews this, shining light on the illness in a thoughtful way. Director Piven does not shy away from depicting both the difficult and the more amusing sides to the disorder. Welcome To Me tackles its subject matter in an authentic and non-patronising way.

There is a lot to laugh at in the film, not least the central premise. In the middle third, there  are many segments from Alice’s talkshow. Most of these work well to generate laughs. There is a level of absurdity to the film that is very welcome. Welcome To Me is adept at switching from outlandishly funny moments to poignant ones in an instant. The film never forgets there is an illness at its centre, yet there is no melancholic air to this.

Protagonist Alice is a three-dimensional character. Kristen Wiig gives a wonderful performance in this role. She is very believable as Alice in her darker moments, yet also generates laughs very effectively. Wiig is ably supported by decent performances from Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack, and James Marsden.

Welcome To Me is an original film that should engage viewers. An enjoyable watch.

Welcome To Me is out in UK cinemas and available on Sky Store on 25th March 2016.

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