Wilson Review
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Unless you’re a critic, it’s generally frowned upon to offer your brutally honest opinions about things. We’re taught at a young age to soften blows, to respect others’ feelings, to mind our own business. But the quirky dramedy Wilson follows the adventures of a man who clearly didn’t learn those lessons.

Wilson stars Woody Harrelson as the title character, a socially awkward middle-aged man who lives alone with his beloved dog, Pepper. When his father dies and his only friend moves away, Wilson finds himself desperate for some kind of human interaction. So when he hears that his ex-wife, Pippi (Laura Dern), is back in town, he sets out to reconnect with her—and then to meet the teenage daughter (Isabella Amara) that he never knew he had. And their clumsy family reunion changes Wilson’s whole perspective on life.

Adapted from the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, Wilson is the story of a lonely man who just wants someone to care about him—yet the things that come out of his mouth make relationships challenging. After all, Wilson is bitter and abrasive. He hates what the world has become—mostly due to people’s reliance on technology—and he doesn’t hesitate to share his thoughts and opinions with anyone who will listen (no matter how hard they may try not to listen). And though he thinks of himself as a “people person,” his “love” of people often manifests itself in the most uncomfortable of ways.

There aren’t a lot of actors who could play Wilson quite as well as Harrelson does. While the character could be grating and often even infuriating, there’s something about Harrelson’s layered performance that makes him strangely likable. He’s so very awkward—and the things he says are often so hilariously tactless. Yet there’s something just slightly vulnerable about him, too. And when he’s with his strange little makeshift family, he can be positively adorable.

The rest of the cast, too, works with him well—from Dern as Wilson’s troubled ex, who’s fighting to get back on her feet, to Amara as the edgy, angst-filled teen whose attitude seems to be genetic.

The story, however, is strange and meandering. Wilson’s relationships come and go; his adventures seem to ramble on. An though it all comes around to work itself out in the end, the final act seems to drag out much longer than necessary.

Wilson isn’t the typical light, fluffy comedy. It’s moody and a little angry, yet it’s also darkly, inappropriately funny. The story is definitely flawed, but Harrelson makes it worth checking out—as long as you’re not easily offended.

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