Welcome to Meh

Kristen Wiig plays a women with borderline personality disorder, starring in an absurd, narcissistic television show paid for with her lucky (but not lucky) lottery winnings. Welcome to Me, both the in-film TV show and the film, go rapidly nowhere.

Wiig’s Alice Klieg is exploited for ratings, paired with a desperate, money siphoning producer (James Marsden) who sees a women off her meds – and an opportunity. Kleieg needs an unhealthy outlet for her illness no matter the circumstances. What ensues is an oddity, a film which treats illness as a marginalized gag as much as it does respect sufferers. Wiig throws tantrums, rambles aimlessly, makes meatloaf/sweet potato pies, and circumvents her relationships in the process. Everyone stares in awe at the display. No one actually helps. Welcome to Me is only uncomfortable.

It’s absurd, a sort of parody of those movies where an unwatchable TV show becomes an unexpected sensation. Only Welcome to Me fails as a product. It only beats re-runs of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Twisting the cliches as it is, Welcome to Me is only delivering the same thing it purports to be against – that of treating mental illness as an attraction. Kleig lives above a reservation casino, is blowing millions on her own form of public therapy, screams over the loss of a make-up kit, and believes she can be Oprah, little of this with narrative purpose. Carnival sideshows are less demeaning.

Welcome to Me’s limited context is not enough to build upon.

Welcome to Me becomes a human story – or tries to, anyway. Kleig’s friends, her ex, and her parents disown her. Her show becomes an avenue to win them back. There are hugs and happy faces when it’s over, but their purpose is unclear. Kleig is still lost in her own mind and narcissistic delusions, an odd means of saying there are no cures.

Laughing at the scenario – absurd and exaggerated as it seems to enjoy being – is gross. Dirty even. Welcome to Me’s limited context is not enough to build upon. It is a fast film, well under 90-minutes, rushing into a meltdown and (not really) recovery. Wiig is fun. Well cast, certainly. Her character is but a misaligned vessel for the misunderstood spectrum of mental illness. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Movie]

On stage for the finale @ 1:13:43

Shot small and digitally, Welcome to Me’s defining characteristic is contrast. The use of light is dominating and thick, although rarely to excess. Moments where bloom is evident are held to a lonely few, mostly done outdoors. Imagery is unusually perky otherwise without falling into any quirks. It’s a slight elevation of “normal,” if that makes sense.

Colors are likewise reserved. A few clothing choices will nicely pop as they display a slew of primaries. Flesh tones are left alone. Since the advent of color grading, it’s rare to see a feature seemingly adverse to the possibilities. No oranges bleeding through onto skin here.

A few scenes will need the punch of black levels. Late night dinner, a bit of romancing at home; depth is provided where required. Shadows are well rendered without any loss of detail.

Resolution is perky too, zoning in on facial details and the environment. Kleig’s apartment is overloaded with VHS tapes, each with titles on the spine, legible with distance. Those few shots where focus seems to disintegrate are rough, but quickly countered. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]

Despite a small audience in attendance for each episode of the show, surround channels remain disinterested in creating such a space. Other than a restaurant, with music slipping into the rears, there is little attempt to utilize the TrueHD mix. The low-end fails to activate at all.

If there is any motion to Welcome to Me, it’s during camera pans away from TVs. Their small speakers will travel a touch, if only within the confines of the stereos. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Audio]

A rather plain eight minute featurette and some trailers make up the limited bonus section. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Extras]

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.


Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.

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