Welcome to Me 2014 ***

Kristen Wiig’s choices post-Bridesmaids have defied any attempt to categorize her as a light comedienne. The lengthy scenes of dog-castration in Welcome to Me are only part of a sustained attempt to avoid cuteness in this very off-beat drama about Alice Kleig (Wiig) who wins the lottery and decides to host her own chat show. The result is a debacle, but one which lines the pockets of her bosses. As Kleig’s show gets progressively weirder, the exposure also threatens her mental health, and Wiig impressively immerses herself in her character’s downfall. In spite of the oddness, there’s not many laughs in Shira Piven’s film, but that’s not the point; in examining how media exposure might engage and divert the attentions of a fragile-minded woman, Welcome to Me can make some claims to being the Network of the social-media era.


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