Matthew Weiner has been working on his film debut, Are You Here, for the last decade, but it’s finally coming at what may be the perfect time. It’s set to hit theaters and VOD August 22, which is when I suspect I’ll be coming to the end of my third tearful Mad Men binge re-watch. The film stars Owen Wilson as “womanizing local weatherman Steve Dallas,” who helps his wacky best friend (Zach Galifianakis) deal with his estranged father’s death and subsequent large inheritance. Amy Poehler plays Galifianakis’ sister who adds complications and, one would assume, hijinks, to the situation. Weiner calls it an ode to “myth of male friendship.”
In the hands of most other directors, that summary, along with this cast which borders on “zany,” could be a major eye-roller. But Weiner always balances the humor with the darkness so perfectly on Mad Men, I don’t think it’s crazy to hold out hope for this to follow suit (pun intended). And there are other positive signifiers. For starters, Weiner brought along Team Mad Men to get this film made, including his executive producer, cinematographer, makeup head and production designer. According to EW,
The camaraderie and long-term relationships didn’t go unnoticed: “There was a moment on the set where I was walking around with [cinematographer] Chris Manley. I was just sort of walking around and talking. Amy Poehler was in that scene, and she said, ‘You guys have worked together a lot.” Weiner recalls being a bit perplexed about how she might have known that. Poehler’s response: “You keep talking, and he keeps ignoring you, and everything’s still getting done.”
Structurally, I wanted to commit to telling a story that you wouldn’t know the ending to. That you would recognize it as reality but you would really have a plot that is as twisted as real life is.That sounds… familiar, no? And promising. For Mad Men fans, this sounds like the perfect Weiner snack (soooo dirty) to tide us over until Mad Men is back next year. You know, before it’s then gone forever.