Here we have a girl who lives in her own world that she's made in every sense of the word.
Something on it's own, unique trip to a dark place within a darker mind; and I say alright.
the allure for any kind of gothic fiction (black comedy is included) is the sense of non-identity, which is a primary stage before the anxiety-inviting separation (gotta leave the mother), through abjection, which is a state where identities collapse, we obtain our sense of non-identity. (isn't nirvana's last album also called "in uterus"? wasn't kurt cobain also craving for that sense of non-identity?) for woman, it's an even more complicated case because she has a womb herself but in a way, she might also loathe the fact that she has a womb and she has to be contaminated in blood every month (menstruation). just picture the last scene in carrie, where sisy speck is soaked in blood, just imagine if you don't stop bleeding from menstruation, then the blood gets splintered all over your body, even sanitory napkin or tampon cannot stop it anymore! carrie's ending is like saying: fuck you! i don't care if you see my period blood, and i'm gonna fucking use it to kill all you hateful! (okok, i've been exaggerating in a highly un-hygienic way..haha)
let's go back to may. the protagonist is born defected because of her lazy eye, and she only has a doll as a friend within her mind. even her own mother is repulsed by her slight disfiguration. she is only good with getting along with animals, thus she becomes a vet. gifted with marvellous tailor-skill, and she practically sews all her clothes. she's self-sufficient despite her ultimate want to be accepted or even loved. then she sets her way looking for love, hoping anyone who gives her a random compliment could just love her a little bit. in the process of seeking love and acceptance, she is doing her "separation" and trying to escape her original state of "non-identity" just to build a sense of subjective self (as a woman, she needs to have her sex appeal affirmed in the quest of romances) until her feeble structure of sanity is disintegrating by other "normal" people's rejections, and they all reject her for the same reason, "you're so fucking weird"...in other words, she's turned down in a world which doesn't approve of her existence.
one of the climaxes is the dramatic scene where she loses her precious doll in an accident and all the other handicapped children are all battered in gruesome blood. the shattering of her doll symbolizes a termination of her primary non-identity where she shelters since the infantile mirror-stage. practically, after this incident, all the failures of her relationships simply guide her into returning to the primary non-identity stage: she simply makes another doll! this time, the doll is made of all the segments of real human flesh from those people who have harmed her without any thoughtful consideration. of course, the doll also has an aura of doppelganger, which also indicates a fixation unto the infantile mirror-stage (the moment you look at the mirror as a child and suddenly you discover you're gazing at yourself. mentally damaged people might just regress into that stage without stepping out)...also, the typical schizod sympton is the incapability to relent your rage through symbolic forms (you hate someone, you burn his picture, normal; you hate someone, you tear off his skin, schizod)...therefore, schizod-inflicted may just returns to the primary non-identity stage without symbolic/ritualistic surrogations, and she practices this process of regression through real killings.
briefly, may is a gothic journey back "IN UTERUS" (nirvana pun intended), a microcosmic social commentary which gratifies your want of non-separation.
May is a strange young lady who is in need of a friend. Growing up, she was lonely so her mother gave her a doll, but she wasn't able to play with it since it was kept in a glass box. As an adult, she still has the doll and talks to it when she's alone. May works at an animal hospital and one day meets Adam and becomes obsessed with him. She also has a co-worker played by Anna Faris who is a little silly too. I really enjoyed it.
twisted, funny and disturbing. great character development for a low budget horror film
Here we have another type of outsider: the withdrawn, quiet girl who has never had much social interaction.
Angela Bettis plays the titular character and seems to have a knack for quirky characters (see the Masters Of Horror first season episode Sick Girl for another notable example. Coincidentally, that episode was directed by Lucky McKee, the director for this film).
Having grown up an outcast due to her lazy eye (later corrected by glasses then by contact lenses) May's only friend was a doll in a case called Suzy. May talks to Suzy as if she was flesh and blood, presumably not just because of her lack of relationships outside her family but because of poor relations IN the family.
The bulk of the movie deals with her trying to maintain a relationship with a man she's obsessed with (Adam, played by Jeremy Sisto) and developing a life outside her work at a veterinary hospital. One such attempt is working at a school for children of disabilities and finding a connection with a little blind girl named Petey.
What I like most about this film is how restrained it is. There's little to no dramatic music, so the shocking moments come without lead-up (I've made similar comments in an earlier review), Angelia's performance is not overly dramatic and it becomes believably darker as the story progresses.
One such moment of darkness is one of the most disturbing things I have ever witnessed and is one of the few times I've ever cringed. Hell, on some repeat viewings, I even look away! That is no mean feat. Skip ahead if you wish to avoid
One afternoon with the blind children, May brings in Suzy and tells them she is her best friend. The children want to touch the doll but May declines, insisting Suzy is fragile (more than likely she doesn't want anyone to take her friend away, regardless of how long they actually hold her. The doll falls and the glass case she is kept in shatters. The kids crawl over to try and find her and... well, put two and two together. Or better yet, don't. It really is that unsettling.
One other point I would like to make is that I believe this to be Anna Faris' best role to date. Sure, it's not totally away from her stereotyped ditz role (I get depressed at the thought of that. I really hope she doesn't start bitching at how she's typecast. If she doesn't want to be known as a ditz, The House Bunny will forever be a smear on her resume. Hopefully that "film" will give her an epiphany. Or be erased from the time/space continuum, either one is fine with me) but at least it's darker. She plays the role of Polly, May's co-worker who is trying to seduce her. Polly has unconventional sexual leanings (though in this day and age, anyone interested in just plain sex is seen as unconventional. Sad state indeed) and if you're used to seeing her as goofballs like Cindy in the Scary Movie series, this might just shock you. Her performance showed signs of a craving to be dark and to try and break out but whether or not she's suppressed those urges or just hasn't been given the right vehicle is something we'll have to wait and find out.
While I will not reveal the details of the ending, I do wish to talk about one aspect of it. This might be the only fault I have with May. Throughout the film, there has been no implication of supernatural/otherworldly behaviour. May does believe Suzy is talking to her but it's implied that it's from years of loneliness that she is slightly unbalanced. I mean, sure, it's possible that Suzy might actually be telepathically communicating with May but that still wouldn't explain the final shot of the movie. As bittersweet as it is, and bare in mind I don't outright condemn it, I'm not exactly sure how the movie came to the conclusion of the decision it made. Yes, I know that movies don't have to explain everything and that fans are encouraged to make up their own minds but that's often a bad idea. My problem is the implication of the supernatural. So, are Frankenstein-esque creations automatically given life in the world of May? Is it a mindscrew? I don't know what to think.
Whatever it may be, it doesn't really detract from a wonderful story about a lonely, lost little girl and her efforts to connect.
"May" is the story of a girl with a lazy eye and a mother who is an overbearing perfectionist. As a result, May grows up fearing imperfection and thus people in general. By the time she has reached adulthood, May has had no meaningful interaction with human beings. She's a beautiful woman with a tiny physical imperfection that has blossomed into psychological disease. She has no social skills. She can't strike up a conversation. In general, May is afraid of the world.
May keeps with her a gift that her mother gave her for her tenth birthday; a very creepy doll that can never be removed from it's glass case. The doll is, of course, May herself, and the glass case is the symbol of that which keeps May's psychosis inside. When mother gave May that doll, she also gave her a piece of advice -- "If you can't find a friend, make one."
As May tries to interact with the people around her, she comes to realize that nobody is perfect. For most people, that would be a liberating realization, but May is horrified by imperfection. She has no mental mechanism to cope with it. Instead, as she says to one of her soon-to-be-victims, "The world is filled with beautiful parts, but no beautiful wholes." May's course becomes clear to her in a moment of psychotic inspiration; she'll take all the beautiful parts and, using her skills as a seamstress, make herself a friend who is a beautiful whole.
Suddenly, a film about a pixyish girl with no social grace becomes a modern day interpretation of "Frankenstein". Things get weird. Very, very weird.
This is, overall, a near-great film that stands as perfect testimony to the blandness of big screen cinema in the US. I strongly recommend it.
Adam: Is that for work?
May: Nope. It's just for fun.
A strange, indie horror movie about a shy girl who desires friendship. It's hard to describe without giving away the movie, but there are a number of good horror moments and some twisted scenes sprinkled throughout. The ending is also particularly creepy.