|Are You Here|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Matthew Weiner|
|Written by||Matthew Weiner|
|Music by||David Carbonara|
|Edited by||Christopher Gay|
|Distributed by||Millennium Entertainment|
Are You Here is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Matthew Weiner. The film stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler. The plot follows an off-the-grid man who inherits his estranged father's fortune, and he must then battle his sister in court for it. The film premiered on September 7, 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival and released in the United States on August 22, 2014.
Steve Dallas (Owen Wilson) burns through his paycheck quickly every month convincing women to have sex with him. He is able to afford this lifestyle because he works as the weatherman for WRSC, the local channel 18. Although expected to make his own forecasts, he pays MIT graduate Delia Shepard (Lauren Lapkus) to do it for him. Steve lives with his childhood friend Ben Baker (Zach Galifianakis), a bearded hippie who spends his days smoking cannabis.
Ben one day violently bursts into the WRSC premises to tell Steve his father has died of old age. Steve drives him to the funeral, but they arrive late due to Ben violently insisting they save some crayfish from ending up as bait. Despite missing all but the lowering of the casket, Ben is received with open arms by his stepmother Angela (Laura Ramsey), a young special education teacher who married Ben's father just 5 years prior. At the reading of the will later, Angela is left nothing; Ben's sister Terry (Amy Poehler) is left only 350,000 dollars; and Ben is left the family farm, store, and 2,000,000 dollars. Ben immediately goes out for fresh air and rips off his suit.
Ben decides to use his money to create a school that will spread New Age philosophy, and starts giving classes in the backyard of the family farm. However, he is soon stopped by Terry, who has decided to contest the will in court on account of Ben's sanity, for which Ben is required to attend a psychiatric evaluation. On the day of the appointment, Ben sneaks out through a window and approaches an Amish farm, hoping to use them as role models for his classes. The Amish family, terrified, fetches the police, which makes Steve drive back into town.
The psychiatrist concludes that, though bipolar, Ben is not a danger to himself or to others, so the court rules that Ben can dispose of his inheritance however he likes. Celebrating the ruling, Ben and Steve get drunk and Steve attempts to reveal to Angela that he has genuine feelings for her. Before leaving to return to work, Steve promises Ben he will bring him more cannabis, but Ben seems uninterested.
Ben has a depressive episode and starts believing there's no reason to live, and when Angela tries to console him, they end up having sex. The next morning, after taking his new medication, Ben shaves his beard off, meets with Terry and gives her full control of the store. Terry immediately has it torn down, purportedly to modernize it.
When Steve issues a hurricane warning for an area that can't receive their signal, he realizes Ben is right, and the world needs more new age ideas. He goes to offer his support, but is livid when Terry tells him Ben slept with Angela.
Ben gives Steve control of the farm and goes off to live a normal life. Steve, however, is used to helping Ben with his problems, and relies on that crutch to give his life meaning, and realizes he too has problems.
The film ends when the rain Steve had been forecasting since the day of the funeral finally arrives, allowing Steve and Angela to forgive each other.
In November 2009, it was announced that Matthew Weiner would direct a movie starring Jennifer Aniston, Bradley Cooper, and Zach Galifianakis. Galifianakis remained cast in the movie but due to schedule conflicts Aniston and Cooper were replaced by Amy Poehler and Owen Wilson.
Filming began on May 7, 2012, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in September. It was selected to be screened in the Berlinale Special Galas section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2015.
The film received negative reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes giving the film an approval rating of 7% based on 46 reviews, with an average rating of 3.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Given the amount of talent assembled on both sides of the camera, Are You Here falls bewilderingly flat." On Metacritic, the film holds a weighted average score of 37 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".