..Trouble follows at least as much as success cuz…different media with different needs, don’tcha know?
by Max O’Connell
While “Mad Men” fans anxiously await the upcoming Emmy Awards and hope that this will finally be the year where one of the cast members takes home a statuette (don’t count on it), the series’ creator and showrunner, Matthew Weiner, has another project out this week. Yet “Are You Here” is being released to little fanfare or excitement. There’s a reason: it’s not very good. When “Are You Here” debuted at TIFF last year (as “You Are Here”), critics were astonished that the creator of one of the finest and most ambitious shows of the past decade could make something so bland and directionless.
Yet Weiner’s hardly the first TV genius to make an underwhelming film debut. Two years ago brought David Chase’s “Not Fade Away,” which, while not without its fervent admirers, met mostly muted reception. John Wells has had a long and consistently acclaimed run in television as the showrunner for the first six seasons of “ER,” the last three of “The West Wing,” and his current project “Shameless,” but his two efforts as a filmmaker have been the wan Great Recession drama “The Company Men” and last year’s Weinstein-ized desecration of “August: Osage County.” Damon Lindelof’s biggest effort for film was the deeply frustrating (though not as terrible as the internet made it out to be) “Prometheus.”