What Was the Point of All This?
Every once in a while, I am stuck watching a movie not because it interests me, particularly, but because I'm working under a time constraint. Hence this one. I got it from Netflix because the plot description sounded vaguely intriguing, but by about fifteen minutes in, I knew that I didn't care all that much. However, fifteen minutes in was still putting me well after nine, and I have that thing about getting reviews in before midnight. (I spent my evening watching [i]Perry Mason[/i], because there was no one on the hold list yesterday, and when I went to renew it today, there was. So it's overdue.) This meant that I didn't really have time to start something else, because I try to be done with my movies by eleven so I have an hour to write the review. Sometimes, it only takes fifteen minutes, but better safe than sorry. So we're getting a review of this, even though I'm not sure how much I have to say.
May (Angela Bettis) had a lazy eye when she was a little girl and played by Chandler Riley Hecht. She was lonely and had no friends, and her mother (Merle Kennedy) told her that she should make her own and presented her with a doll. That was, naturally, in a glass case and not something May was allowed to touch. May grows up as much a social reject as you figure, given that back story. She works in an animal hospital, where the receptionist, Polly (Anna Faris), is constantly hitting on her. May does not notice. She does notice a guy who goes to her laundromat, Adam (Jeremy Sisto), and gets weirdly obsessed with his hands. Only May is so out of it that she doesn't know how to initiate a relationship, and once she's sort of in one with Adam, she doesn't know what to do about it. She actually manages to do a little better with Polly, but Polly does not appear to be the monogamous type, and May doesn't know how to deal with that, either. Oh, and the doll is talking to her, so there's that.
Polly, naturally, is a Movie Lesbian. It's not that she obviously just needs the Love (or something) of a Good Man to become straight. It's that she's pretty and flirtatious and probably promiscuous. She's the kind of lesbian that men are interested in watching. Which goes badly for her, given the kind of movie we're dealing with, here, but consider this. She hits on May even though she has no real reason to believe that May is even bi. Now, I think May is just desperately lonely and is willing to go along with anyone who pays attention to her, but it's not like that's something healthy. It doesn't seem to me that Polly has any interest in knowing what May is really like. It's how we the audience are supposed to know that Adam is a jerk, but I think we're still supposed to find Polly appealing. They're equally self-centered, and they're equally dismissive of May without realizing it, but it's okay when Polly does it, because lesbians.
I'm not sure this movie really knew what it wanted. It reminded me most of [i]Brimstone and Treacle[/i], that weird movie I watched years ago where Sting might or might not have been the Devil. The plots bore little resemblance to one another, inasmuch as either movie can really be said to have a plot, but they both had the same feeling of unreality. Not the kind I think they wanted, either. Both movies had moments where I stopped and demanded to know if the thing that just happened had really happened, because it didn't make any sense or seem to follow from what went before. The whole thing with May and the blind kids didn't work for me at all. I'm not entirely clear on what the deal was with the guy May picks up at the bus stop; I think it might be to convince us of how weird she is, if even that guy thinks she's weird. But let's face it; if the film hasn't convinced us of how weird she is by that point, it has failed, and you have to wonder what it's been doing with itself all that time.
Obviously, the question is not if May is crazy or not. May is definitely crazy. But is her crazy believable? There was at least one scene that I was utterly, utterly convinced had to be a dream sequence or fantasy or something. This was for two reasons. First, because it was so out of left field. Second, because you can't stab someone with scissors like that. Really, there were several places in the movie that convinced me that no one involved really knows how sewing works. (May sews with her presser foot up!) Sewing scissors are sharp, but not, in general, that sharp at the point. Heck, mine aren't sharp at the point at all, because there's no need for it. But anyway, the film never really established anything. Is the doll really talking to May? It seems as though it might be. On the other hand, it might be a delusion. There's no way of knowing, and it simply isn't interesting enough to leave us talking about it afterward. Note that I'm much more interested in May's presser foot--and how many of you even know what one is?