“Are You Here” teams up Director Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men”) with stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Poehler in this unique “dramedy.”
Cinematics(Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.)
“Are You Here” has a very unique plot that focuses on blending a multitude of characters with dissenting characteristics. There are many points throughout the plot where an opportunity exists to develop the characters in a moralistic way. Moral issues of friendship, greed, sex, and sanity all factor in to each of the characters’ own moral dilemmas as they interact with one another. Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Poehler all struggle with one of these issues in particular based upon their own distinguishing character flaws established early on in the film.
Owen Wilson has his usual appealing wit and Zach Galifianakis has his usual zany and off the wall type humor. They both blend well together as friends that tend to balance each other out in the areas that they are lacking. When Amy Poehler is introduced into the mix, we get to see a side of her that we’re not used to. Instead of her usual “goofball” demeanor, we get a more uptight and condescending character that provides very few laughs and for the first time becomes unlikable. All of these characters own unique traits make it a difficult blend overall.
I thought that there were many opportunities to engage the audience in the development of these characters but I believe that there is such a saturation of dynamic traits that it makes it difficult to connect with the characters emotionally. There is a lot of potential in the story and characters of “Are You Here” but the exploration of so many dramatic aspects of the film dries up the humor and leaves the character development a little stale.
Early on in the film I was fully engaged and interested. “Are You Here” is accompanied by a great cast that tend to intrigue me on a comedic level but have some difficulty finding their footing when it comes to drama.
“Are You Here” is categorized as a comedy but even as a dark comedy it tends to fall short and is a little dry for my taste putting all the pressure on the dramatic side of the film. As I drama, I quickly lost interest as I was unable to become emotionally connected to the characters as they relate to each other. Their genuineness of friendship and family values were just absent which made the film drag on.
I found the laughs to be few and far between as a comedy and the dramatic aspect to be boring based on redundant inconsistencies and lack of chemistry.
Although I typically enjoy the cast members of this film, I think a one time watch was enough for me. I found very few things within the film that would make me want to revisit. I wish the actors would have focused on their strong points of comedy rather than forcefully adding drama to the mix. If they had focused on their strengths I would probably be ready to view the film again.
- Entertainment Value
Overall I would say I wanted to enjoy "Are You Here" but could not find pleasure in this film. The highlights of the film were the cast attached and the glimmer of their typecast personas that we all know so well. Unfortunately they took the gamble of venturing off into new territory and it ended up hurting the film overall.