Are You Here

Ben Baker (Zach Galifianakis) is a bipolar man-child who dabbles in the consumption and dissemination of weed. His friend, Steve Dallas (Owen Wilson), a moderately successful local weather reporter, is outwardly more put together but his womanizing makes for a pretty superficial life. It’s hard to say why these two are still friends, but their shared childhood has clearly bonded them, and when Ben learns his estranged father has died, Steve makes the trip home with him.

There are two problems with waiting for Ben at home: 1. his ambitious, uptight sister Terri (Amy Poehler) and 2. his hippie “step-mom” Angela (Laura Ramsey) who’s the same age they are. Terri and Angela don’t get along and Ben hasn’t seen either of them in quite some time. So yeah, it’s a bit of a problem when the will is read and almost everything, including the family business, is left to him, a known loser and eternal fuck up.

MV5BMTY0OTE2ODg2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjUxMDI0MjE@._V1_SY1000_SX1500_AL_First off, I sort of hate this title. Actually, I definitely hate this title. It’s too vague and it doesn’t mean anything, and without a question mark, it’s a question that doesn’t even ask itself let alone demand an answer.

I don’t know what this movie was really about, and I am confident that writer-director Matthew Weiner doesn’t either. I’m not 100% sure this movie wasn’t accidentally made from 2 or more disparate scripts. It kind of feels like a few rough-draft ideas were quilted into a half-baked script that never should have seen the light of day. And though there are a few good moments, mostly thanks to a talented cast, Are You Here is a forgettable mess. So I guess in that way, the title is actually quite representative of the film – and it should have been enough to warn me the hell away.

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15 thoughts on “Are You Here

  1. J.

    I’ve seen this one… I kinda thought the same as you. It has its moments, but it’s predictable and, well, I didn’t really think any of them were likeable.

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    1. Jay Post author

      They’re not likeable nor do they become likeable – and that’s usually the point of having terrible characters is so they can grow and change and we can all feel good and like we can really become better people when in fact at the end of the day you’re still zach galifianakis.

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  2. Invisibly Me

    Sounds like they got a strong cast together then threw a weak plot into the mix to see what would happen. I agree, the lack of a question mark bugs me. And yet, despite knowing this is going to be a tragic mess, I kind of want to watch it. There’s something wrong with me.
    x

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  3. Widdershins

    I thought the title was a play on words, ‘You are here’, (like on maps) but because they’re all so dysfunctional it was reflected in the title … obviously I gave it far too much credit. 😀 … pass.

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  4. ninvoid99

    I saw this film and yeah, it’s pretty bad. Sure, I didn’t mind seeing nude women but it wasn’t enough for me to be engaged by as it was just dull and sad.

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  5. Tom

    Lol i still have this title on my Netflix queue. From like, 2013 or something. And now here I am kicking myself for missing for all this time the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch Owen Wilson play the part of a moderately successful local weather reporter. Damn it Tom, precious memories have been lost.

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