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Plot: Two childhood best friends, one a superficial womanizer and the other a barely functioning bipolar, embark on a road trip back to their hometown after one of them learns his estranged father has died. Runtime: 114 mins Release Date: 22 Aug 2014
Thing is, this is not comedy, definitely not a classic romance story. The message it delivers is a hint of a more deep line. The false reality of things we are teach to want... Sure the story has a couple problems whit internal integrity and coherence, but the characters feel real !! real people... not some cartoon sister craving for the gold or a "hippie" against the system. Its truly remarkable the work the actors did to at least in my case make me forget it was a Hollywood movie. And i believe that the same thing i found so amazing is why is underrated. Its really not <more>
commercial. Most of todays indie films are gross commercials productions all comedies sure are , the only thing that changes is the public, a more refined public or a less one. Doesn't matter... Profit does. "Are you here" doesn't try to be more that what it is.. and that is refreshingP.S The physical change of Galifianakis is comparable to that of Christian Bale in "the machinist"
Long have a craved for comedies to become more real and mature (by veshalin)
I love how refreshingly real and current the characters and events were. The common slapstick comedies are tired. The actors give a new genre a try and fail slightly at times and perhaps the end was slightly forced to end happily. But I think people misunderstand the storyline. I don't think it's meant to illustrate or make any points about mental disorders but rather is about men struggling with the meaningless of life and the different choices such individuals take to survive in a society where they are looked upon as abnormal because the have different views and thoughts.
Thoughtfully touches mental health issues (by david-felten)
I was expecting this movie to be a dud by the reviews alone. It was far from the truth. It shows a person who deals with mental health issues based on the negative stigma society has put upon it. It shows a friend who helps said person through those problems. One of Zachs finest performances.
Cheesy indie with charm (by mika_l_88)
You' ll understand the name of the title by the end of the movie. Cheesy and cliche' at times but brings clearity to what we call life."Life is not meant for thinking"
What a beautiful little film (by socrates99)
I don't recall ever hearing about this movie. Perhaps it was too steeped in 60's attitude for today's audiences. If so that is truly a shame because that probably means today's young people are too far removed from the era to understand it well. In today's world that is a great loss. If we could live as hippies attempted to back then, we'd be far closer to mitigating climate change than we are now and a large part of that lifestyle was the attitude. This movie captures that attitude beautifully.Laura Ramsey as Angela, the young hippie step-mother, brought back memories <more>
for me about women who actually existed in those years, who would float through life elevating everyone around them like some magical earthbound angel. I suppose nowadays she seems implausible. But back then she was very possible and meeting someone like her was unforgettable. Ms Ramsey's depiction captures the type in a way I haven't seen done in a very long time. It was a pleasure to reacquaint myself with the woman she represents. In a lot of ways those flower children were more affecting than anyone I've met since.The idea of the film apparently is to bring some of that ethos into the present. The two main leads, Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis, have no problem evoking the era and they do a splendid job. I thought both brought the right mix of humor and pathology to their parts. They seemed to understand what the movie was trying to convey, and they were quite successful for people like me. What's surprising is that younger people apparently don't get it and I don't quite understand why they wouldn't.Amy Poehler is also in the movie but in an unattractive role. I still appreciated her contribution to the mix in what seemed like a risky departure from her usual performance.The story revolves around two friends, pretty much drifting through life who end up supporting each other through the trauma of having one's well-off father die. That death spurs them both to grow up a bit though the transition is not easy for them. The movie is set in farm country where Amish live and coincidentally I live in that sort of country myself. It was actually a bit of a treat to see them carry on in such a setting.I enjoyed the movie very much, understand its point completely and am really bummed to find out that very few others enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone familiar with that era it's actually set in the present and not hostile to it. Believe me from my point of view it is far more your loss than mine that this movie wasn't as praised as it should have been.
TV weatherman and friends discover their more authentic selves (by maurice_yacowar)
There's no question mark in the title Are You There because the question is the answer. Matthew Weiner's black rom-com is about characters who try to discover their authentic selves. To ask if how you're acting is the real you is to begin to discover who you are.One striking scene visualizes characters living out of whack. TV weatherman Steve Dallas Owen Wilson lies sleeping on a sofa while all around him, at silent comedy speed, his best buddy Ben Zach Galifianikis races through a day or two of frenzied time killing. Combining a still and a fast-action within the frame is an <more>
emblem of living as a divided being. Each character has a wide range of potential selves. The apparent ideal is the beautiful free spirit Erin Naomi Lavette . She was married to the much older man whose funeral calls son Ben and buddy Steve out to Amish country. If Erin seems the stereotypical hippy she's a winning, warm embodiment. Though Steve once rails at her -- not entirely inaccurately -- for being a wispy tumbleweed, she brings Ben and Steve the stability they both need — in the conventional hippy free love kind of way. Her range is Mother Earth and Tumbling Tumbleweed.Steve opens the film with an empty protestation of contentment. "Honest, every morning I wake up happy." This turns out to be a set speech he delivers to his every pickup, explaining why he enjoys being single yet he always senses he might be missing something. By leaving that last door ajar he wins them all — and even gets the girls to pick up the tab when his plastic always fails. He is so locked in that routine he uses it on a call-girl, not the expected recourse of a swaggering local TV star. The most dramatic discovery is Ben's. The family's black sheep doofus, he's a bipolar nut bar who indulges his every flush of impulsive egotism, however destructive. He ends up a sensible businessman with the integrity to fulfil his promise of giving Steve the huge farm he inherited and the courage to start a new, simple life, perhaps with the single mother Allie Jenna Fisher in his complex. Now his complex is a residence, something he can live in. The film closes on him musing on the connection between the Amish farmer with his one-horse wagon, and the plastic red horse Allie's little son is riding. The animal and the plastic here bespeak a simple genuine pleasure.In minor key rediscoveries, Ben's sister Terri Amy Poehler mellows from litigious shrike, taking her sterility frustrations out on others, to a respectful sister, easing Ben back into the family. They tear down the past to build a more useful future. Sexy news anchor Victoria Alana De La Garza converts to off-camera wife and fidelity. Steve anoints his better qualified assistant Delia Lauren Lapkus as his TV successor. Although she's a meteorologist she still needs a boob job to get on camera. TV requires fakery. There's a telling moment when they slog through a remote hurricane story. Ben lolls in his chair, while Delia curls up asleep under the counter.For all Steve's initial swagger he's clearly not at ease with himself. Erin diagnosis his veil of charm intended to prevent any real relationship. The old Steve plays cavalier at his job, arriving at the last minute, usually high. When to win Erin he goes straight, he abandons the fakery in his performance. Instead of losing his on-camera effectiveness he discovers he has an off-camera self. That works even better on-air and, more importantly, it sends him back to Erin and the farm. Reunited with Erin the ex-weatherman knows better than to come in out of the rain.If the script went further perhaps the starstruck meteorologist Delia will some day see past her new boobs and look for her more authentic self. Self-discovery is a process, one misstep after another. But that would be another movie. This one is quite rich and enjoyable enough. In fact, it doesn't deserve the reviewers' tepid reception. I think had it not been written and directed by the Mad Men whiz Matthew Weiner, it would have been more warmly embraced. Because it's so different, our expectations are disappointed and we conclude he went wrong. On the contrary, to his credit he slipped into a modern setting and a predominantly comic genre, and conceived a fine oddball cast of characters and some very funny lines and scenes. In its thematic concern with apparently gifted and successful people feeling hollow, craving more authenticity in themselves and in their lives, this film is clearly of a piece with his Mad Men. Weiner didn't sell out. He moved on. For more see www.yacowar.blogspot.com.
If this had an unknown cast and a different director this would have been an award winning film about the difficulty of finding meaning in our lives.It starts a little slowly with the main character weather man who is a womaniser and seems to be happy, and who also helps his bipolar friend who is struggling to find meaning in his life. However, ultimately find that it is the weather reporter who is searching for meaning in his life - and he finally breaks down when his bipolar friend begins to develop a life on his own.The film contains quite profound comments subtle inferences on what it <more>
is to be crazy and if belief in God is crazy ; how relationships can be sexual and caring, but without being about becoming a couple; vegetarianism; living within the modern world or finding meaning in returning to a simpler way of life.So - the film sounds arty and profound. Except it isn't produced in that way. It is directed like a Hollywood movie, indeed a Hollywood comedy. This mismatch between the complexity of some scenes and some of the plot, and the characters/actors and filming style are probably what disappointed many viewers. Personally, I loved it and put it in the same league as 'the way way back' but a bit more bizarre.In summary - a great script and good film, with odd casting and presented as a comedy, which it isn't. Will be disappointing if you want something pure Hollywood, but will be engaging if you like sentimental and deep films that make you think, but are not pretentious indeed - I wonder if it was done purposely like this in an effort to take out all the pretentiousness and make it seem like a light film .