Genre: Drama / Horror
Director: Lucky McKee
Starring: Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris, James Duval, Nichole Hiltz
If you can’t find a friend… make one
May has always been an outsider of society. Her best friend in life has been her doll Suzie, which she got from her mother when she was a child. The doll has always been inside a glass case and she has never taken it out, but for May the doll has always been the closest she has ever gotten to having a real friend.
May is now an adult and is starting to seek more from her life. She is working at a veterinary hospital and one day she gets her eyes on a local mechanic called Adam. She is fascinated and very attracted to his big macho hands and they quickly becomes friends. But by taking a chance to befriend a living person also has a negative side… living people can end up leaving you.
This is a film that I have had on my list of movies to soon see for several years now. For some reason I have always overlooked it and never given it the time of day and that turned out to be a horrible decision on my part because it is one of the better films of the last ten years.
May might find itself being categorized in the horror section, but expecting or demanding a horror film when you pop this in will probably disappoint you. It’s more of a character driven story that doesn’t care what type of label that will be put on it. I would say that it is a drama first because of what it is about, then horror second because of the (few) violent scenes and comedy third because some scenes are played like a black comedy. In the end, a label or genre doesn’t matter that much anyway.
I found the May character very interesting. All she wants is to be happy and have a normal life. What separates her from other movie characters that go through the same problems is that she accepts that she is not your average person and she doesn’t try to change herself to be what society and other people wants her to be. Right from the intro where we get a glimpse of her tough childhood, we start to care for her and want her to get her friends and boyfriend during the film.
Most of this can be “blamed” on the fantastic acting by Angela Bettis. She nails this role and I don’t think she could have done anything to improve her performance in this. When she is sad, you want to hug her and make things better for her, when she is happy you get happy, when she is bad you will feel that she is justified. It’s not often that I care that much for a movie character, but May could bite my neck anytime.
To make her character work this good, Bettis had to have a good working relationship with the director and the guy who was behind both the screenplay and the directing was Lucky McKee. He keeps all the focus on the characters and only injects some humour where it is appropriate. It’s surprisingly well put together considering he had only co-directed one low budget, independent movie previous to this one. He and Bettis also hooked up again in the future for an episode of Masters of Horror called Sick Girl and it turned out to be one of the best on the show. I haven’t checked out his newer movies yet, although I really should.
The supporting actors are also very good and their characters are very fleshed out. Jeremy Sisto plays the love interest Adam. He has a 70’s hairdo and sort of reminds me of a more macho version of John Travolta. Anna Faris is beautiful and a lot of fun as May’s lesbian colleague Polly. I’m not surprised to see all the main actors from the film go on and have lasting careers in Hollywood after this film.
Although this is turning out to be a very positive review of May, the film is sadly not perfect. I wish that the ending was even more emotional and could have been better. Even though I’m not a huge fan of using it, some more flashbacks to May’s youth days for further explaining on how she became the way she and also more about her struggle with her childhood which has affected her so deeply throughout her life. It’s still goes deep though by all means and I can understand why people have compared it to Carrie.
May is an excellent film that shows that character driven movies aren’t lost in the modern cinema world. It is a sweet, romantic, dark and lonely film and I recommend it to anyone who can see a film that just want to show a simple, yet detailed story about a weird girl named May.