Wilson (Craig Johnson) 2017 ** 5/19/2017

Overall a pleasant movie, if not destined to be memorable.  Wilson (Woody Harrelson) is a mix of a cynic and an optimist; ever hopeful about the world and the people in it only to be often disappointed.  The best parts of the movie are the occasions when he starts conversations with strangers, only to have them put a headphone back in or have nothing to say.  His dad dying leads him to seek out his ex Pippi (Laura Dern), getting her life back on track after decades lost.  They get back together and part of that is Wilson finding out she had his kid 17 years ago.  They go to meet Claire (Isabelle Amara), just about ambushing her in the mall.  A halting relationship forms, but when they take her to Pippi’s sister’s for the weekend (without the knowledge of Claire’s parents), Wilson ends up in prison for 3 years on kidnapping and reckless endangerment of a minor.  When he comes out Pippi has run off with her N.A. sponsor, and his beloved dog is dead.  He falls in love then with his former pet sitter (Judy Greer), and learns Claire is having a baby.  These two new relationships help him get his life on track and the movie actually ends on a line about “it being in front of our face without knowing it.”  Yecch.  A mildly diverting quick moving first half is betrayed by the second’s dive into the saccharine.

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