Kristen Wiig's Post-SNL Low Carbohydrant Diet: Welcome to Me
May 2, 2015 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Kristen Wiig has a new movie out titled Welcome to Me, about a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder who wins $86 million dollars, goes of her medication, and then buys herself a two hour talk show. In promoting the film, Ms. Wiig recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as Game of Thrones character, Khaleesi. Ms. Wiig stunned audiences earlier this year at the Grammys performing an interpretive dance with Maddie Ziegler, to Sia’s Chandelier.

The movie has gotten very good reviews in the New York Times, Salon, and the LA Times.

Cara Buckley recently interviewed Ms. Wiig and the director of the film, Shira Piven, for a New York Times Times Talk.

They also spoke about the film, accompanied by co-star Linda Cardellini, at the film's recent debut at the Toronto Film Festival.
posted by Toekneesan (42 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Kirsten Wiig and Linda Cardellini! That makes me very happy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:35 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fun post, thanks!
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:40 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


B.P.D.? S.E.T.!
posted by fairmettle at 10:40 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yikes, A.O. Scott of the New York Times (as well as his editors and fact-checkers) doesn't know the difference between borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder?
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:44 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm just confused by "Carbohydrant" and "Game of Thrones Character Khaleesi".
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:47 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Khaleesi" is a title. Her name is Daenerys Targaryen. Saying "Game of Thrones character Khaleesi" is like saying "House of Cards character President".

[/nerdrage]
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:51 AM on May 2, 2015 [62 favorites]


I dunno, this doesn't strike me as BPD at all from the trailer.
posted by Auden at 10:52 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


(really great cast though)
posted by Auden at 10:55 AM on May 2, 2015


A.O. Scott of the New York Times (as well as his editors and fact-checkers) doesn't know the difference between borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder?

Also, the LA Times refers to her as 'a borderline personality' and not someone with BPD.
posted by carter at 10:55 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


It is always fun when someone who doesn't know anything about a show pretends like they're totally into it. I still get mileage out of my hoary old "So the Orioles are playing the 49ers" joke. Also, this.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:55 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Watching some of the videos in the links is a good way to clear up confusion.
posted by muddgirl at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


like saying "House of Cards character President"

Well no, since unlike 'President', 'Khaleesi' is an invented term that can only be found in a single, easily identifiable TV show/book series.
posted by colie at 11:03 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Khaleesi" is a title. Her name is Daenerys Targaryen. Saying "Game of Thrones character Khaleesi" is like saying "House of Cards character President".

Works for me. Who's in HoC other than President and Foghorn McAwfulAccent?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:09 AM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


"'Khaleesi' is a title. Her name is Daenerys Targaryen. Saying 'Game of Thrones character Khaleesi' is like saying 'House of Cards character President'."

As infinitewindow mentions, that's the joke. I think it would possibly have been even funnier had it been a very knowledgeable send-up of Daenerys and GoT, but that it's utterly and aggressively clueless is almost as good.

"I dunno, this doesn't strike me as BPD at all from the trailer."

Didn't seem like it in the NYT review, either. It seems like the fictional film/tv world thinks about mental health in the same way it thinks about science or law -- it's deeply ignorant to the point that there are nearly universal conventions that are utterly unlike actual reality. So who knows what the film actually thinks is going on. This is really weird and disappointing, though, when you think about it because characterization is extremely important in all narrative fiction and actually understanding this sort of character's inner-self is essential. So partly it might be that the writer and Wiig and the director all really do have a strong and consistent conception of this character's personality, it's just that they wave some babbling nomenclature around it, as films and television does with all technical topics. Or, alternatively, the understanding of the character's (pathological) psychology isn't realistic at all, which is also quite common but still sometimes works when the character is more a trope than is intended to be an actual realistic personality. It doesn't sound like it in this case, as this sounds like a strong character study, so I'm inclined to think that they really understand the character, but the terminology they (or others) are using about the character is just hand-wavy.

"Watching some of the videos in the links is a good way to clear up confusion."

Maybe so, but I watched one video and read one review. I think that RTFA before commenting is good mefi etiquette as a rule, but it's more problematic with very link-heavy posts, and doubly so when it's videos. I have a limit on the number of videos I'm going to sit through. So it would be helpful if you would just tell us the information from the videos you watched that would help clear up any confusion.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:12 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Let's get it straight. It's Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.

The skit with Fallon was a bit much for seven minutes. I mean it's one joke. She's never seen the show and she's just making shit up. Like all Fallon bits, it's too long, too shallow, too one dimensional. Come St Colbert, free us from this prison of inanity.
posted by Ber at 11:25 AM on May 2, 2015 [24 favorites]


I looooove her nerd rage-baiting "clueless" Khaleesi interview!

Super excited about the movie too
posted by Bwithh at 11:27 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I sometimes treat BPD. What's confusing is when people with borderline, narcissistic, antisocial or histrionic organization but not a fully developed DSM-style BPD phenotype basically model themselves on media representations of their diagnostic label. We then enter psychiatric Baudrillard territory then, a factitious simulation of a nebulous simulacra that is a composite of dramatic media representations. The displacement of the symptoms then becomes the pathology. Which brings us full circle.
posted by meehawl at 11:37 AM on May 2, 2015 [66 favorites]


The Fallon bit was funny, but nowhere near as funny as either of them seemed to believe.

Kristen Wiig is dreamy, and Welcome to Me looks it could be a very good film. I think it's unfortunate that a lot of the discussion around it is probably going to revolve around whether it's an accurate portrayal of a particular mental illness; this seems potentially bad for the film's reception and for sufferers who probably won't benefit from a comedy about their problems.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:42 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm really enjoying Kristen Wiig's new career. I hope she never gives up comedy because she is amazing at physical humor. But she's also so great at portraying people who have been dealt a shitty hand and making them three dimensional and sympathetic. And her knack for weirdness that she used a lot at SNL comes in really handy when playing oddballs in dramas too.
posted by lunasol at 11:49 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Any time there's anything in a movie that I have semi-expert knowledge about, the movie gets it wrong.
I've always assumed this is also true about areas I don't know about.

So if this movie does a bad job with mental illness, it fits my experience.
posted by cccorlew at 12:29 PM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Welp, I see that both Kristen and Jimmy haven't outgrown their habit of laughing and corpsing through an entire sketch which lasts too long and isn't all that funny in the first place. Once SNL, always SNL.
posted by ReeMonster at 12:48 PM on May 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


I think it's unfortunate that a lot of the discussion around it is probably going to revolve around whether it's an accurate portrayal of a particular mental illness

I am too. No "but that's their fault" qualifier or anything, just, I am too.

I really hope that when it comes out we can have some kind of "now that we've gotten that out of the way" point and just... Talk about the movie.

It's the same as arguing about whether desolation of smaug is a realistic portrayal of dragons, or whether the iron man suit could really Fly. I mean, I know it's not, since mental illness effects real people... But I'm non neurotypical too and not everything needs to be a social justice discussion about correct accurate portrayals.

This looks like it could be a great movie with some really Aubrey Plaza and Tim & Eric sort of humor. I'm going to be pretty sad if all the discussion about it is mostly anchored on that. And yes, I do kinda wish they had just gone "but she's a bit weird" and never elaborated... But people would probably find a bone to pick with that too and just ahhhhggghhhh.
posted by emptythought at 1:28 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wow, she's great.

There's no need for medical accuracy in the premise, but just as an aside, I don't think that there really are any BPD medications. There might be tranquilizers or such to dampen symptomatic activity, but there isn't too much you can do to help people with BPD. Psychotherapies like CBT, Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and something called Schema-focused therapy have been tried with mild success, but BPD, like many other personality disorders, is just the way they are.

meehaul might correct me on this, but I've known (and loved) a few BPD's and a few therapists that treat and/or have loved BPD's, and the consensus is that BPD's are not going to change very much, even if they want to.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:19 PM on May 2, 2015


Too long, but worth it for Emilia Clarke's reaction.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:31 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Borderline Personality Disorder is very treatable, and a significant number of people who have it simply grow out of it as they age.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:52 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


The dressed as Daenerys on Fallon thing was way less interesting and funny than I assumed it would be before watching. I live in a... hut? In a... forest? What? So much wasted potential.
posted by Justinian at 3:23 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought BPD stood for Baltimore Police Department. Or is it The Same Thing?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:55 PM on May 2, 2015


Boston Police Department, but, yeah, pretty much.
posted by sammyo at 4:18 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I loved Kristin Wiig in SNL but post-SNL when she does these comedic bits she always half-asses it and then makes these "Ha ha, I'm soooooo quirky" facial expressions. I mean it's part of the joke that she and Fallon were laughing during this one, kind of?, but that kind of breaking character done so much makes her seem like this high school quarterback who gets cast as the star in the school play and keeps mugging for the audience to show that he's not nerdy enough to, y'know, actually CARE about the play or the character, he's one of the COOL kids!

/I feel bad even saying this because Kristin Wiig was one of my all-time favorite SNL comedians. And she's an incredible movie actress too. It's just her persona in interviews and bits like this that rub me the wrong way.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 5:34 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Agreed. She mugs and hams it up a wee bit much for me, but I haven't checked out her post SNL movie roles
posted by aydeejones at 6:07 PM on May 2, 2015


Welp, I see that both Kristen and Jimmy haven't outgrown their habit of laughing and corpsing through an entire sketch which lasts too long and isn't all that funny in the first place. Once SNL, always SNL.

Well how else would the audience know what's funny, geez
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:23 PM on May 2, 2015


Can a manic pixie dreamgirl carry a film all by herself?
posted by humanfont at 6:30 PM on May 2, 2015


She's more a manic pixie dreamwoman. And I think yes, having seen Bridesmaids.
posted by ostranenie at 6:42 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Her recent Daily Show appearance was interesting. Jon had just Interviewed Judith Miller the night before, and the segment before Kristen came out was Jon giving a heartfelt farewell to Samantha Bee. He seemed genuinely tired and sad while trying to be funny at the same time. Kristen did her best to giggle her way though it and Jon eventually pulled himself together, but it was a strange interview to promote her new movie.
posted by bstreep at 7:37 PM on May 2, 2015


Why does America need two late night hosts named "Jimmy"?
posted by pashdown at 7:39 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it's because of their names.
posted by erebora at 8:34 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


StickyCarpet: "I don't think that there really are any BPD medications. There might be tranquilizers or such to dampen symptomatic activity, but there isn't too much you can do to help people with BPD"

You can lump the core distressing symptoms into three categories:
  • Affective dysregulation
  • Impulsive-behavioral dyscontrol
  • Cognitive-perceptual symptoms
For different people or at different times, the relative impact of symptoms in these clusters can be more or less intense or disabling. If EBM is your cup of tea, meta-analyses have shown which selections of medications can be more effective (ResearchGate PDF) (and which are not, such as, for instance SSRIs for people without moderate-to-severe MDD or anxiety).

For psychotherapy, you mentioned a list of cognitive-oriented therapies. Linehan's DBT is the best-known. A rough rule-of-thumb is that if you take a cohort of people Dx'd with DSM-category BPD, after 10 years around 70% will "remit", in that they no longer meet criteria. Many of them are still quite impaired. However, the remission rate with completi9n and practice of DBT for the same cohort is 80-85%. Because the lifetime risk of serious harm or death by suicide is so high, remission to even a less impaired baseline is a reasonable treatment goal.

There are several dynamic-oriented therapies that also treat BPD. TFT, or Transference-focused Therapy is one of these. TFT has a lot of the same behavioral contracting with positive and negative reinforcement as DBT, so it's kind of a hybrid, but still unmistakably dynamic. I think one of its main therapeutic action consists in chronic exposure desensitization (twice-weekly sessions stuck in a room with a therapist that someone with BPD will oscillate between loving and hating) and the mobilizing of mentalization, just as the schema therapies do, which aids in helping a workable empathy sense to emerge. One of the more surprising findings recently is rough equivalence of basically most of the therapies, including community-based supportive therapies. This probably results from the diffuse categorical definition of BPD, survivor bias in the long-term treatment cohorts, and small sample sizes with a lack of power.

I don't think anyone's tested what the therapeutic effects are of winning the lottery, but who knows, maybe that would also be just as effective?
posted by meehawl at 9:03 PM on May 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


I like both Kristen Wiig and Game of Thrones, but I couldn't get through all 7 minutes of that sketch.
posted by piyushnz at 9:50 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


That Grammy performance was awesome.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:53 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


meehawl: "I don't think anyone's tested what the therapeutic effects are of winning the lottery, but who knows, maybe that would also be just as effective?"

If it is, given the cost of healthcare in the US, maybe we could just give all people with BPD a few tens of millions of dollars instead?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:07 PM on May 2, 2015


twice-weekly sessions stuck in a room with a therapist that someone with BPD will oscillate between loving and hating

Who can afford that? Okay, let's say the treatment is free. Who with a (9-5) job can afford that time off of work?
posted by megafauna at 12:11 AM on May 3, 2015


meehaul might correct me on this, but I've known (and loved) a few BPD's and a few therapists that treat and/or have loved BPD's, and the consensus is that BPD's are not going to change very much, even if they want to.

1) We are people who have BPD. We aren't "BPD's."
2) meehawl already got to it, and no, the consensus is not that people with BPD are not going to change very much.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:02 PM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


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