EIFF Review: Welcome to Me

Welcome To Me

Kristen Wiig is destined to have a huge year. Along with The Diary of a Teenage Girl, her leading role in the brilliant Welcome To Me cements her place as one of the funniest actors working in Hollywood today. Viig is the glue which holds the film together, and her spellbinding performance ensures that a film which could have gone badly wrong, turns out to be brilliant and hilarious.

Alice (Wiig) has a borderline personality disorder. She spends her life watching videos of Oprah and dreaming of taking her place. Winning the lottery means the reality TV obsessive’s dreams can come true. She approaches a local TV channel run by the conniving Rich (James Marsden) and his rather haphazard brother Gabe (Wes Bentley). Much to the chagrin of her therapist Daryl (Tim Robbins), Rich takes her money and agrees to her wishes – a weekly show hosted by Alice which solely focusses on her own life.

Shira Piven has taken a bold path to critique the narcissism which is rife within reality TV and broadcast media as a whole. It could have easily ended up as an incredibly offensive car crash but an inspired performance by Wiig and a brilliantly written script keep it on the straight and narrow. Welcome To Me eschews the obvious need to investigate mental illness, instead ingeniously playing-up Alice’s condition for laughs. The result is the funniest film I’ve seen all year.

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