Taglines: Alice is going to be on TV whether you like it or not.
Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig) is a single woman living off benefits for her borderline personality disorder, much of which she spends on lottery tickets. Eventually, she wins the jackpot of $86 million. When she appears on the news celebrating her win, she is dismayed when the speech she had prepared is suddenly cut off when she mentions masturbation on the air. She then decides to go off of her medication, against the wishes of her therapist Daryl Moffat (Tim Robbins), and move into a casino hotel.
She appears on TV again during a vitamin supplement infomercial run by Gabe Ruskin (Wes Bentley), where she forcibly becomes a volunteer and recites her speech once again (though is still cut off by the program director Dawn Hurley (Joan Cusack)). Her quirky personality is highly received by Gabe’s brother and studio-head Rich (James Marsden), and Alice uses the opportunity to request the creation of a show, which Rich sees as an opportunity to finally make a profit for his fledgling studio.
At the subsequent meeting, Alice requests 100 two-hour long episodes of her show, which she has titled Welcome to Me, in which she discusses whatever happens to be on her mind at the time. Despite the price to produce the show, she promptly pays for it in full, much to the shock and elation of Rich.
Though Gabe is reluctant to see to the show’s production, mostly because of the vague and random nature of her show, Alice takes Gabe out on a date, where they promptly have sex and begin a relationship. The first episode is awkward, involving segments such as her making a meatloaf cake (which she also eats live) as well as sketch where she publicly shames a woman who wronged her in high school. Alice is disappointed with the episode’s quality, who wants it to appear more like Oprah. After spending more money, she revamps the set to include a rotating stage, as well as an exact replica of her house.
As the show rises in popularity, so does the quality and production value of the show. However, her friends and family, including her mother and her best friend Gina Selway (Linda Cardellini), become more alienated as a result, especially when Alice makes a sketch where she depicts Gina as fat because of her preferences in one-pieces over two-piece bikinis.
Things escalate when Rainer Ybarra (Thomas Mann), a reporter for his college’s newspaper, interviews her rising stardom. After she gives him a blowjob in her limousine, this tryst is inadvertently revealed on her show by a secretly recorded phone call with Moffat, which greatly angers him and Gabe. After an incident in which Alice burns her chest and arms spilling chili on herself (attacking Gabe and the studio crew in the process), she suddenly formulates a sketch to neuter dogs live on her show.
At this point, Gabe finally quits, realizing that she has gone too far. Rich continues to support Alice’s decision until he and the studio are sued in numerous slander cases by people that Alice shamed on her show, health code violations related to the neutered dogs, and other damages (including a lawsuit from Gabe). Rich tells Alice to cancel the neutering segment immediately, and after seeing signs of disinterest in her audience, she cancels her recording early and goes on an indefinite hiatus. After settling all of the lawsuits, Alice is left with $7 million of her winnings.
Welcome to Me is an American black comedy drama film directed by Shira Piven and written by Eliot Laurence. The film stars Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini and Wes Bentley. The film was released on May 1, 2015 in a limited release.
Welcome to Me
Directed by: Shira Piven
Starring: Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, Joan Cusack, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Thomas Mann
Screenplay by: Eliot Laurence
Production Design by: Clayton Hartley
Cinematography by: Eric Alan Edwards
Film Editing by: Josh Salzberg, Kevin Tent
Costume Design by: Susan Matheson
Set Decoration by: Jan Pascale
Music by: David Robbins
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use.
Release Date: May 8, 2015