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Review and Roundup: Matthew Weiner Misfires with Critically Panned 'You Are Here'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 10, 2013 at 1:44PM

Matthew Weiner's contemporary comedy "You Are Here," an exploration of male friendship starring Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis, doesn't work. How could the creator of "Mad Men" so miss the mark?
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Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis in "You Are Here"
Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis in "You Are Here"

Matthew Weiner's contemporary comedy "You Are Here," an exploration of male friendship starring Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis, doesn't work. How could the creator of "Mad Men" so miss the mark? Weiner wrote the script just after he wrote "Mad Men," and always intended for the lead to be played by Wilson. “I think Owen’s an under-appreciated actor," he said. "I liked his screen persona which I feel is guiles and there’s a glibness there, there’s a kind of lighthearted comic sensibility but I always saw depth in there.”

When I talked to Weiner for an Indiewire Q & A, he articulately explained what he was going after---a realistic sweet portrait of two men who are lost and not able to manage their lives, one a bipolar pot grower who resists medication, the other a weatherman who cloaks his feelings via alcohol, weed and womanizing. Eventually the two reach growth and maturation. "I wanted to write a character-based story about someone who doesn't feel," he said. "Why not let it go down like a spoonful of sugar?"

Yet as you watch the film, which was funded by indie producer Gary Gilbert ("The Kids Are All Right"), it feels stiffly conventional and stuck in various stereotypes: the heedless playboy (Wilson), the pothead layabout (Galifianakis) the earth goddess muse (Laura Ramsey). Weiner's ideas do not really come across. Reviews will be rough on this one.

See the roundup below:

Hollywood Reporter:

This article is related to: Reviews, Reviews, Matthew Weiner, You Are Here, Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.