This was a bit of serendipitous news as I just last night began my plunge into Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men, only to find the next day that the show’s creator is moving into features. Called You Are Here, the film will be Matthew Weiner’s first theatrical film, with him serving as both writer and director, and it will star funny men (and woman) Zach Galafianakis, Owen Wilson, and Amy Poehler.
If that cast raises an eyebrow, it will only raise further as this Sopranos and Mad Men veteran is not moving into features with a heady drama, but with a family dramedy that he’s been passionately writing for 8 years. About two brothers that take a road trip to hear what their father has left them in his inheritance, the film begins to wedge them apart as one brother is left with more then either expected. I was just writing recently about how Galafianakis has pretty much only been exploited on the big screen for his man-child shtick, and I’m surprised to see that even here his character is listed explicitly as a “man-child.” Still, I have a great faith in Weiner as a disciple of David Chase and the man behind the immediately excellent Mad Men, so I’m expecting all of the actors to have an opportunity to shine. Also, Galafianakis can do bi-polar, though it might be tough to buy Wilson as a “freewheeling bachelor” anymore. The one-two punch of Hall Pass and Midnight In Paris has left that impression I think.
Here’s the full synopsis:
Local weatherman and freewheeling bachelor Steve Dallas (Wilson) and bi-polar man-child Ben (Galafinakis) are childhood best friends who embark on a road trip home after Ben discovers that his estranged father has passed away. Once there, Ben is shocked to learn that his eccentric father had big plans for him and he’s inherited a whole lot more than his father’s money. As Ben struggles with his new responsibilities, his friendship with Steve is tested by the complications of his inheritance, his sister Terry’s (Poehler) ambition, and Steve’s desire to be with his father’s beautiful young widow Angela.
This will be an interesting shift in tone, but I’m excited to see Weiner’s filmmaking expand with all of the tools usually available to feature filmmakers. It’s interesting to see a television filmmaker (what a novel term!) move into features and not feel like he’s stepping up to the big leagues so much as just stretching his wings.
(via Awards Daily)