Everyone has fantasized about what they would do if they managed to win the lottery and become untouchably rich. Buy a yacht, live in a villa, go wild on a shopping spree are some of the cliches that spring to mind. But for Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig), a woman who has just played Russian roulette with her borderline personality disorder by going off her meds, the best way to use her wealth is to host a talk show called Welcome to Me (hence the eponymous title of the film).

Promo poster for Welcome to Me

Promo poster for Welcome to Me

As Shira Piven's (yes, Jeremy Piven's sister) debut directorial effort, Welcome To Me explores an all too resonant theme among the Hollywood community: blinders when it comes to other people's emotions and complete and utter selfishness. At the relative mercy of her shrink, Dr. Moffat (Tim Robbins), Alice continues to go to his sessions for fear that he might institutionalize her otherwise, especially considering she's quit Abilify cold turkey. This decision only seems to compound her hyper self-awareness and intense need for self-exploration via the vengeance-taking provided by her talk show.

Alice Klieg, hoarder of VHS tapes with Oprah episodes

Alice Klieg, hoarder of VHS tapes with Oprah episodes

In addition to being essentially themeless, save for discussing whatever topic of Alice's life is of interest to her that day, the main pursuit of the show is to reenact moments in her life during which she felt she was wronged, going as far back as her childhood and highlighting such traumatic incidents as "Someone's been tampering with my makeup bag!" As Alice goes progressively off the deep end, her show gains more and more interest, with one fan/grad student named Rainer (Thomas Mann) going so far as to write a paper about Alice for one of his classes. Because of her histrionic nature, she seduces him in spite of being in a relationship with one of the network's owners, Gabe (Wes Bentley).

With Gabe, whose informercial slot she ends up taking over

With Gabe, whose informercial slot she ends up taking over

Her alienation of others close to her persists after she does a reenactment involving her best and only friend, Gina (Linda Cardellini). In it, she gets a fat woman to portray Gina trying on a one-piece bathing suit and spins the incident to make it look as though Gina is self-conscious about her body, but in actuality, it is simply because Gina doesn't like the aesthetic of two-pieces. The ire she receives from Gabe's brother and co-network owner, Rich (James Marsden), also takes its toll on Alice's emotions, prompting her to end one of her two-hour long shows forty minutes early.

Appropriately, the introduction to the film begins with the Michel de Montaigne quote: "I study myself more than any other subject. That is my physics. That is my metaphysics." Alice's application of this philosophy to her own life is what ultimately becomes her undoing, causing her to have a breakdown in the hotel casino she's been living in. But from the ashes of her detrimental self-exploration rises a newer, more "self-actualized" Alice.