ARE YOU HERE – A Review by John Strange

By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Matthew Weiner
Cast: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler
MPAA Rating: R (for language, drug use and some sexual content/nudity)
Selig Rating: FORGET IT!
Runtime: 112 Min.
Take two talented comedic actors, add in a side of wonderful comedic actress and sometimes the recipe gives us an amazing 90 minutes of laughter and joy.  The other side of the equation is a movie like Are You Here
The film follows Steve Dallas (Owen Wilson), a local television weatherman.  He is a talking head, giving the forecast determined by his “assistant” (and a real meteorologist), Delia Shepard (Lauren Lapkus).  Truthfully, he keeps his job because he looks good.  He is no better than the blond bimbos so many films put in the job.  He blows through his money on booze and women never really caring for anything.
Steve’s best friend and boyhood companion, Ben Baker (Zach Galifianakis) is a pot growing stoner who is trying to write the definitive novel.  He is the next thing to a shut-in as he hides from the world and muddles through his days and nights scribbling notes from his rambling thoughts.
Ben’s father dies leaving him the family’s farm and the store in town in his will.  His sister, Terri Coulter (Amy Poehler) is aghast at the bequests from the will.  Her no-account brother is getting nearly everything!  All she and her husband are to receive come to about $220,000 versus the several million dollars Ben is to receive.
The story is further complicated by the sibling’s stepmother, the gorgeous 25-year-old widow Angela Baker (Laura Ramsey).  She gets nothing from the will but doesn’t seem to mind.  She is allowed to remain in the farm house with Ben until she decides where she will go.
The story leaves you shaking your head with the actions of the characters.  Their actions are not particularly cute or entertaining.  You leave the theater wishing you had the time back.  It’s been a while since I had to say this about a film but when it comes to Are You Here I have to throw in the rating of FORGET IT!
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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