Marijuana Policy Project

Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler in 'Are You Here'

Amy Poehler, Joel Gretsch, Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis in Matthew Weiner’s "Are Your Here."

Matthew Weiner's film debut features Top CelebStoners Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler, so it can't be bad.

Known for TV's Mad Men, Weiner covers distinctly new territory with Are You Here. Set in fictional Pennsylvania Dutch town. Wilson plays stoner weatherman Steve Dallas who's best friends with the mentally unbalanced Ben Baker (Galifianakis). When we meet Ben, he's living in a family farmhouse he's turned into a hovel. Ben rants and raves like a paranoid schizophrenic; actually, he's been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but refuses to take his meds. Instead, he smokes a lot of pot, with and without Steve.

The story shifts when Ben's father dies and leaves the farm and a store in town to him. His shrill sister, Terri (Poehler), does everything she can to convince Ben that he can't handle the responsibility. First, he decides to use his new fortune to make the world a better place, but after a naked romp on a Amish neighbor's property, Ben realizes he's got to get a grip. He starts a pill regimen and reduces his weed intake. Ben cuts his wooly hair and shaves his beard. He moves to a nondescript apartment complex where he meets a single mother (Jenna Fischer).

Meanwhile, Steve wrestles with a life that consists of telling the weather (he works for a TV station in Annapolis) and hooking up with call girls. This all changes when he meets Angela (Laura Ramsey), the widow of Ben and Terri's father, who she was signficantly younger than him. She's not interested in Steve's drunken, stoned ways and challenges him to get sober. So now in both cases, Ben and Steve stop smoking pot to achieve a certain goal. Is this Weiner's marijuana message - that it's for the immature?

While another challenge proves to be even more difficult for Steve, Angela eventually comes around - after all, who wouldn't fall of that crooked nose?

Galifianakis works familiar territory - the schlubby savant who finds redemption after several failed attempts at changing his ways. And Poehler is terrific playing against type. Terri's tough as nails and mean as a mangy dog until she and Ben come to terms.

Reviews of Are You Here so far have been mostly unfavorable, but the chance to see Wilson, Galifianakis and Poehler together on screen is worth the price of admission.

comments powered by Disqus
Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.