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Welcome to the Rileys

Cast: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo
Director: Jake Scott

Oh look, it's Kristen Stewart's stripper movie! Before her Twilight fame, she was already circulating in the indie scene, and I must say, her choice of films work for her. While Welcome to the Rileys does not triumph over Adventureland, her performance in the film is good, although she wasn't given as much material to work with. Seriously, she should get back to the indie scene. 

Welcome to the Rileys is not much about her, but how a couple has managed to rejuvenate their relationship and their selves. After a car accident that killed off their daughter, Doug and Lois Riley were never the same. Doug engaged in an affair while Lois became a recluse, opting to stay in her house and having people come over instead. On a convention in New Orleans, Doug chances upon Mallory, a teenage runaway working at a strip club. After his primary interaction with her, he decides to go off the grid, living with her until he fixed himself. 

The trailer makes this film look interesting, and it was. The plot alone interested me, and I wanted to see how it played out. After watching the entire movie, I felt that while it wanted to touch a nerve, it failed to capture the essence of the story as a whole. Don't get me wrong, they were all good performances, but I think it's the material that I have a problem with. Once the character is introduced, they are easily identifiable, and what they seek out of the relationship. Stewart's character, although unrelated to them is a key factor in the movie because it's through her that the couple are able to identify their capability to move past the incident. The movie wants to present depth but the material lacked depth. I felt that the movie was quickly wrapped up after establishing the points, and that there was more that can be done to secure that deeper aspect that the story is trying to tell. 

Given the script they had to work with, the cast did convey the necessary emotion suited for their character. I think that the film could have had a deeper impact. There was a story, and it was interesting. It might come off as dull, but mainly because the color scheme and atmosphere of the film depicted gloom. All in all, I would put this on a 50/50 watch list. If it wasn't for the plot I wouldn't have watched this, but seeing as it didn't made an impact as much as I expected, it would be a long time before I consider watching this again. 


  1. Great review! I liked the movie, it wasn't great but the acting was wonderful and the story quite interesting. Stewart's performances in indie movies are one of the reasons I'll always take her side even if she is far from great in big movies.

    1. Thank you! She really is good in indie flicks.


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