<em>Bridesmaids</em> star Kristen Wiig leaves the LOLs behind for a sincere turn as a lottery-winning wannabe TV star
The role of Alice Klieg will not be one of those big, dramatic turns that makes people see a comedian in a new light. Yet while still a comic part, it shows real dramatic depths to Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig. Alice is a manic-depressive who likes swans, Oprah Winfrey and the lottery. When she wins $86million on the lottery, Alice invests the bulk of her prize into creating a talk show – but not one where she’ll talk to other people. Instead, Alice relates her half-formed thoughts to camera and airs grudges against old school friends (played out in awkward reconstructions). The show is watched initially only by TV station employees, then gradually Alice’s ratings climb until she’s big enough to beat a rerun of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.
The joke here is not on Alice and her mental illness. Her actions are those of an egomaniac but Wiig gives them the quality of a sad request for attention. That said, director Shira Piven (Step Brothers) overdoes a lot of the scenes in Alice’s show, leaning more into absurdity than tragedy. Alice’s relationships are left under-examined, so when the ending shifts focus to other people in her life, it just doesn’t work. Ultimately, it’s like Alice herself: confused by what it wants to be.
Stars: Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, Wes Bentley
Director: Shira Piven
Release date: 25 Mar, 2016