Matthew Weiner knows a thing or two about dysfunctional families: In his early years, he wrote for The Sopranos, and as the creator of Mad Men, he’s spent the last seven years chronicling the Drapers, one of the most perpetually at-odds clans in TV history. So it’s not surprising that for his big-screen directing debut, Are You Here — which stars Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, and Amy Poehler — Weiner chose once again to focus on the family. But Mad Men fans who watch the trailer for Are You Here (which you can see exclusively above) might be surprised to find out that Weiner’s latest effort is, in fact, a comedy.
For Weiner, it’s a return to his roots. Though the Emmy winner is known for downbeat drama, he actually got his start writing for sitcoms like The Naked Truth and Becker. Weiner wrote the script for Are You Here over a decade ago — well before Mad Men took off — and spent years trying to convince Owen Wilson to play Steve, a womanizing weatherman who tries to help his unhinged best friend Ben (Galifianakis) deal with his father’s death. Poehler co-stars as Ben’s long-suffering sister, who balks when her spacey sibling inherits the family fortune.
Are You Here debuted at last fall’s Toronto Film Festival (with the slightly different title You Are Here), and it was met with mixed reviews. But Weiner told Entertainment Weekly that the finished version — which debuts in theaters and on demand Aug. 22 — is “actually quite a bit different than it was at Toronto.” At the very least, it will sate the appetite of Mad Men fans, who have to wait until next year to see how the series ends.
Photo Credit: Millennium Entertainment