Netflix and Chill: Are You Here

BY ADAM QUANDT | The Statesman Director: Matthew Weiner

Genre: Comedy

Length: 113 minutes

Netflix rating: 2.5 out of 5

My rating: 1 out of 5


Another week of Netflix and Chill, another star-packed film and, sadly, another disappointment.

Matthew Weiner’s 2013 film “Are You Here” features what you would think to be a dynamite cast made up of Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler.

I was rather unsurprised to find that Zach Galifianakis plays pretty much the same character that he plays in every movie I’ve seen him in so far. Despite this fact, “Are You Here” did show a more “real” side to Galifianakis that was a little different.

Many people know Galifianakis for playing the not-so-intelligent, but still funny friend character (i.e. Alan from “The Hangover”). That side of Galifianakis is portrayed in “Are You Here,” however, he also shows a more vulnerable side in the film.

I believe this added a more human aspect to Galifianakis’ character in this movie. He wasn’t just cracking dumb jokes all the time.

The movie tells the story of Ben Baker (Galifianakis) and the struggles he faces after the passing of his father, while simultaneously dealing with mental health issues.

The film follows Ben, his longtime friend Steve Dallas (Owen Wilson) and his stepmother Angela as Ben fights his sister Terry (Amy Poehler) to maintain a hold on the estate his father left him.

Doesn’t sound like much of a comedy, does it? Well, it’s not, really. Sure the film made me chuckle a few times, but definitely not what I was expecting with who was listed in the cast.

For the most part, I found “Are You Here” to be a rather dull and slow-moving film that didn’t really hold my focus.

However, there was a very “real” aspect to the movie that I found very appealing. This is where the movie saved its one-star rating from me. The film felt like it could have been a “day in the life” documentary. There wasn’t anything fake or superficial about it.

I felt like I could relate to a few characters at various times throughout the film. The movie didn’t feature the typical “Here’s the problem. Oh it’s fixed. Everyone’s happy now,” storyline that many films have. This model holds true for parts of the film, but the movie also features very real-life problems that any person could face.

If you’re looking for a feel-good movie this might be a decent one to check out next time you find yourself perusing Netflix.

Although, if you’re looking for a comedy to make you laugh like a comedy movie should, don’t let the cast of “Are You Here” fool you. This film is worth the skip.

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