Are You Here

Are You Here

Director: Matthew Weiner

Cast: Matthew Weiner, Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler

     
 

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Mad Men auteur Matthew Weiner makes his feature directorial debut with Are You Here, a mix of comedy and drama that stars Owen Wilson as Steve, a glib TV weatherman in Virginia who spends his free time picking up women or getting stoned with his deadbeat best friend Ben (

Overview

Mad Men auteur Matthew Weiner makes his feature directorial debut with Are You Here, a mix of comedy and drama that stars Owen Wilson as Steve, a glib TV weatherman in Virginia who spends his free time picking up women or getting stoned with his deadbeat best friend Ben (Zach Galifianakis). When Ben learns that his father has died, he and Steve travel to the funeral and the reading of the will, where they discover that Ben has inherited an estate worth more than $2 million dollars while Ben's sister Amy Poehler got some cash and thinks her brother is in no position to take care of their father's business. Steve romances Ben's father's girlfriend (Laura Ramsey), while Ben tries to get his life in order. You Are Here screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Mad Men mastermind Matthew Weiner dips his toe into the world of feature films with Are You Here, a mix of comedy and drama that never quite coheres, but does give Zach Galifianakis the chance to do the most surprising work of his career so far. Owen Wilson stars as Steve, a glib TV weatherman in Virginia who spends his free time picking up women, hiring prostitutes, and getting high with his best friend Ben (Galifianakis), a stoner whose bizarre behavior has as much to do with mental illness as it does with his weed intake. One day, Ben learns that his estranged father has died, and the two buddies drive to a small town to attend the service and hear the reading of the will. Surprisingly, Ben discovers that he will receive the bulk of his father's multimillion-dollar estate, which includes a farmhouse and a successful local store. This fact infuriates Ben's sister Terri (Amy Poehler), who is tired of her brother being a lazy screwup and partly blames his friendship with Steve for his slacker lifestyle. Ben soon moves back into the farmhouse, which is still occupied by his father's second wife Angela (Laura Ramsey), a beautiful, young earth-mother type who deeply loved her much older husband. Steve stays to support his buddy and finds himself attracted to Angela, who is intrigued by him but turned off by his hedonistic ways. Are You Here never finds its stride. Right from the outset, it isn't funny when it tries to be. Wilson is a charming rogue, but the punch lines are either too obvious or too understated to connect -- the lame, slapstick ending to a sequence in which Ben tries to save a tank of crawfish from being sold as bait highlights this problem. While that scene effectively symbolizes the inherent goodness beneath Ben's mental disorder and ganja haze, it isn't funny or interesting. That's a problem with much of the first half of the movie: Weiner has a handle on the big themes (male friendship, family, grief, mental illness, delayed adolescence) he wants to get at, and he has a cast who are able to follow him, but he hasn't made the material engaging enough as either a comedy or drama. Thankfully, the actors carry the movie along, and when the material turns more dramatic in the second half, the film has a handful of very good scenes. Wilson and Ramsey have terrific onscreen chemistry, and the gifted Amy Poehler provides dramatic weight as well as a comedic edge -- she's the only person who, from beginning to end, nails the difficult tone Weiner wants. But it's Galifianakis who truly surprises with his dramatic chops. His character undergoes the biggest change over the course of the movie, and yet the actor often communicates this shift in undemonstrative ways. Rather than a subversion of what he's done in previous films, it feels like a refinement. The final scene between Ben and Terri is a small slice of minimally acted perfection; it's the best moment in the whole movie. Ben should have been the central character, since he changes in the biggest and most fascinating way. But by continually returning to Steve, whose manboy-grows-up arc is rather obvious and familiar, Weiner shows how years writing for one of the finest ensembles in TV history has affected his ability to craft a tight, two-hour narrative. He tries to do too much with Are You Here, and the whole thing feels undercooked -- perhaps because he has less time and fewer characters than he's used to with Mad Men. That may be a problem endemic to TV auteurs transitioning to movies, but in Weiner's specific case, he's so good with actors that there's no reason to assume he won't have a long and successful film career if he wants it.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/30/2014
UPC:
0687797156761
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
R
Source:
Alchemy / Millennium
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:54:00

Special Features

Director's commentary

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Owen Wilson Steve Dallas
Zach Galifianakis Ben Baker
Amy Poehler Terry Coulter
Laura Ramsey Angela Baker
Jenna Fischer Alli
Melissa Rauch Marie
Lauren Lapkus Delia Shepard
Alana de la Garza Victoria Riolobos
Joel Gretsch Red Coulter
Paul Schulze Dave Harken
Edward Herrmann Dr. Vincent
Peter Bogdanovich Judge Harlan Plath
David Selby Karl Stevens
Greg Cromer Kyle Robertson
Jay Gates Ramada Waiter
Jason Davis George
Melanie Ratcliff Attractive Neighbor
Naomi LaVette Erin
Matthew Cornwell Stu
Bridget Gethins Patty
Michael Genevie Minister
Ted Huckabee Husband
Karenlie Riddering Marta
Alberto Contreras Balthazar
Dov Tiefenbach Zed Starkovitch
Brett Gentile Justin
Helen Abell Molly
Stephanie Northrup Bonnie
Michael Uppendahl Officer Norbey
Tom Key Felty Yoder
Tony Paone Mr. Solakian
Dave Hager Baggerz Bartender
Phillip DeVona Pool Player
Arlo Weiner Solomon
Ellis Weiner Connor

Technical Credits
Matthew Weiner Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Keith Addis Executive Producer
Carrie Audino Associate Producer,Casting
Peter Bentley Sound Mixer
Dan Bishop Production Designer
Shauna Bogetz Co-producer
David Carbonara Score Composer
Wendy Chuck Costumes/Costume Designer
Craig Fincannon Casting
Chris Gay Editor
Gary Gilbert Producer
Scott Hornbacher Producer
Jordan Horowitz Producer
Lisa Mae Casting
Chris Manley Cinematographer
David Morong Art Director
Donald Murphy Asst. Director
Alex Patsavas Musical Direction/Supervision
Marcy Patterson Co-producer
Laura Schiff Associate Producer,Casting

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