Mary and Max

December 24, 2009

God gave us relatives. Thank God we can choose our friends.
-Ethel Mornford-

Sometimes perfect strangers make the best friends.

This is just about the strangest movie I’ve ever watched.

I liked the first half. From the Perpetuum Mobile in the beginning of the movie, introducing 8-year-old Mary Daisy Dinkle who was living in Australia, in 1976. As the movie progressed, we were introduced to her father (Noel Norman Dinkle) and her mother (Vera Lorainne Dinkle) and learnt that her family was super dysfunctional. Her father was absent, preferring to spent time alone with his stuffed birds, and her mother was a kleptomaniac alcoholic, who neglects her as well, telling her that she was an ‘accident’.

Then we were introduced to a man living in New York City, named Max Jerry Horowitz. Max was obese and seemed lonely. Both Mary and Max liked watching “The Noblets”, a television show that they like because everybody had ‘oodles’ of friends. Thus their friendlessness is implied.

Mary then wrote to Max, after finding his name and address from a phone book, asking him where babies came from. And  thus their unlikely pen-friendship begun.

As the movie progressed, we learnt that Max has Aspergers’ syndrome, and had anxiety attacks when Mary talked about love or sex in her letters.

*Spoiler alert*
(Highlight to read)
Mary’s father died and her mother followed soon, accidentally drank formalin, mistaking it for sherry. Mary then married Damian Popodopoulos, whom she had been in love with since she was 8.

Inspired by her friendship with Max, Mary studied psychology in university. She even wrote her thesis based on Max, “Dissecting the Asperger’s Mind”. The thesis was going to be published, but when Max found out about it, he was furious. That’s when everything start to suck. Mary became depressed, started drinking, and Damian left her. She hit rock bottom when she tried to commit suicide.

Even though Mary and Max eventually made up, Max died the day Mary came to visit him in New York, his eyes staring at the ceiling where Mary’s letters were glued.

Personally, I think the ending sucked.

*Disclaimer: I hate sad endings, and I am NOT a movie reviewer. I am entitled to hate sad endings and nothing no one says would change the way I feel about the ending. It’s a strange but beautiful movie, and maybe, just maybe, I just haven’t lived (long) enough to fully appreciate it. I dunno…

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14 Responses to “Mary and Max”

  1. bla bla Says:

    You know absolutelly nothing of cinema!

    Take a look on the first screen: “based on a true story”
    There isn’t another ending for this movie!

    • Vie Says:

      Yea, smart ass. I never claim myself as a movie critic. Obviously it’s my personal opinion.
      I’m entitled to have opinions, no?

  2. ehm Says:

    I really liked this movie! I thought the ending was kinda sweet/melancholy/sad, etc. What was it about the ending that you didn’t like?

    • Vie Says:

      well…i guess i had hoped that they will meet eventually…
      yeah, in a way it’s sweet…
      it’s just that the end made me cry a whole lot, so i hate it a bit. 🙂

  3. Helen Says:

    I like reading reviews of films which I have really enjoyed in order to discover another person’s opinion and perhaps gain insight into elements of the film which may have eluded me. However all you’ve done is give a very basic synopsis – not a review at all and if I’d not seen the film already, I’d have been pretty disappointed by so many spoilers. Perhaps you could improve your future ‘reviews’ by writing what you actually thought of the film, The ending didn’t ‘suck’ at all, it was a beautiful, albeit poignant ending and at least they were on good terms and had buried the hatchet before Max died.

    • Vie Says:

      Well, I hate sad endings and I can’t help it. Not being a professional movie reviewer makes it okay for me to hate sad endings, I would think.
      But I see your point about the spoilers, thanks! 🙂


  4. This movie is very moving, though it is a bit weird. My son has Autism and I saw that this movie was about a man that had Autism (Aspergers is a mild case of Autism) and it piqued my interest. I am watching the credits roll as I type this on my phone, the ending… It was satisfying, but sad. The appreciation of what I like to call “normal endings”comes with wisdom and understanding. Life is 25% “happy endings”, understanding that sometimes putting a “true ending” helps to get a valid point across, and I think this movie is very life like and interesting in its own right. I was watching this on Netflix on my Xbox 360, I’d recommend this movie, it is based on a true story and sheds light on the most rampant childhood epidemic right now, Autism.

    • loz Says:

      As a psychology student and ABA therapist, i felt i must correct this.
      Aspergers is NOT a “mild case of autism”

      As a Mother of someone on the spectrum, you should know this. Read up

  5. sammie Says:

    I think it’s supposed to show how human interactions and events affects our lives and, in turn how we apply that interaction to ourselves?

    Just something I came up with. It was strange at times, but so is life. I think it just wanted to be a literal sense of life as opposed to ‘Disney’ (:

    Glad to see you had some opinions about it though, didn’t find much on the google search.

  6. Sagir Safar Says:

    A perfect movie about an imperfect life.

    This Movie was well made and the ending was sad (but a good movie none the less). It captured almost all human emotions and gave me a sense of feeling of how useful self confidence is.

    A rollercoaster ride of emotions ..

  7. Gabriela Says:

    I cried my eyes out at the end but only for a minute (then the camera panned out and I saw the rest of the picture) sometimes you do have to step back to see what’s right in front of you. I thought it was a beautiful film really moving and helped me understand a lot more about myself. That candy heart never spoke truer words.


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