This past week, my roommate asked me to watch a movie with her instead of studying-- I obviously took her up on the offer immediately. Any reason to set down my Stats book is a good reason, as far as I’m concerned.
The week prior, she had posted a trailer for Mary & Max on my Facebook wall. From its trailer, the movie looked refreshingly clever and enjoyable. I imagined it would be similar to Fantastic Mr. Fox with Claymation and well-written dialogue.
What we expected to be a heartwarming two hours that would take our minds off of midterms and other college stresses actually turned out to be a serious slap in the face with themes of loneliness, suicide and alcoholism. Needless to say, when I was bawling at 10:30 P.M. on a Wednesday night, I wished it were over my Stats homework and not thoughts of the sadness that comes, at times, with being an adult.
The story was that of Mary, a young girl from Australia with antisocial tendencies and a loveless household, and of Max, a man living with Asperger’s in New York City who suffers from overeating and depressive episodes. It all starts when Mary gets Max’s name and address from a phone book in the post office and begins writing to him-- her hope is simply to make a friend, though the relationship proves to be much more than that.
Mary and Max become each other's only and best friends. However, the result of a little girl and a middle-aged man depending on one another to that extent proves to be trying, to say the least. Add to that the fact that they are both emotionally and mentally unstable, and the story takes on a much more real and dramatic turn than the Claymated movie I had originally pictured.
In hindsight, I’m glad I watched it, because it really was a good movie. However, I may have enjoyed it more had I known what was going to happen. You generally choose movies that you’re in the proper mood for-- no one chooses to watch a depressing movie on a sunny day. I suppose that was the point of Mary and Max, though.
Nothing is ever as it seems.