"Are You Here?" (WITH a question mark. You would not believe how much the missing punctuation annoys me in the film title !) is the question that millions of kids will be asking as they gaze longingly out of the bedroom window tonight as they desperately try to spot Santa's sleigh behind the clouds, but it is also the name of a new film starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler and Laura Ramsey, which will be available on demand and download to own from Christmas Day (that's tomorrow - eeeek !), one week before being released at the cinema on January 2nd.
As it is written and directed by Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men, I was expecting silly gags and slightly rude humour and that is what it delivered. If your husband/boyfriend/teenaged son usually rolls his eyes when you want to sit down to watch a rom-com chick flick, this is the perfect antidote because, as the strapline declares, it puts Bromance before Romance !
The plot is a bit flimsy and silly but opens up a lot of comedy potential. When Steve Dallas (Owen Wilson), a womanising local weatherman, hears that his off-the-grid best friend Ben Baker (Zach Galifianakis) has lost his estranged father, the two return to Ben's childhood home to discover Ben has inherited the family fortune, leaving the ill equipped duo to battle Ben's formidable sister (Amy Poehler) and deal with his father's gorgeous 25-year-old widow (Laura Ramsey).
This is not a family friendly movie so don't sit down to watch it with the kids ! Have a look at the trailer to get a feel for the content but basically, expect lots of jokes focusing on sex, drugs and family foibles. I couldn't work out why they left out the question mark in the title and I couldn't work out how some of the jokes made it through to the final cut, but it did raise a few laughs and offers a nice counterbalance to the schmaltzy, sugar-coated kiddie classics that will be on all the TV channels over the entire festive period !
Lionsgate UK presents ARE YOU HERE to watch on demand and download to own from 25th December 2014 and in cinemas January 2nd 2015.
Disclosure : We received a screener in order to write an honest review.