Cast/Crew: Directed by Lucky McKee (The Woman, 2011) and starring Angela Bettis as the titular May.
Plot: May is an extremely timid, lonely girl with poor social skills (no friends, talks to/takes advice from her doll, no boyfriend, makes her own clothes). Her psychoses bloom as the film progresses.
I need to rant first:
• About he medical aspect of the film: May has amblyopia, a ‘lazy eye’, and also a right esotropia which her optometrist didn’t fix! Anyway, lazy eye is easily corrected by an eye patch and is fixed pretty quickly. In the film she is treated early but still has it over a decade later (which is bullshit). She wouldn’t have to wear the eye patch at school as they’re only worn part-time (i.e. at home) or, forego the patch and get eye drops instead. We’ll assume May has severe amblyopia as it affects her depth perception and general sight (which we see, bumping into people and spilling washing powder).
• May is a Vet’s assistant but also has incredible surgical skills despite the film making it glaringly obvious she doesn’t. These scenes at the Vet’s office: “Remember the big scalpel for surgery?” The fuck is that? Do you only have one and it’s dirty? Also, May PULLS OPEN sutures (not cutting them), which is infuriatingly wrong and dangerous. Later, May tells a story of how the vet ran out of large sutures. What? Fuck are you starting surgery without checking? Ok, rant over.
Thoughts on the film :
• May (2002) …the film (not the date!) does a great job of quickly explaining her upbringing and meek personality – her disapproving bitch mother gets her a doll “because she cant make friends” and chastises her for unwrapping present wrong thereby “ruining it”. Her difficult childhood has greatly influenced her adulthood but sure, it wasn’t that bad. There wasn’t any kind of actual trauma.
• As an adult, May talks, shouts and takes advice from her only friend/doll (Suzie) going from imaginary friend to actual psychoses.
• She takes a stalker-level interest in Adam, an amateur filmmaker with ‘perfect’ hands. She’s scarily happy to talk to him. (Bettis does a great job showcasing an incredibly unsure, akward woman with her physical movement, eyes and delivery of her lines). A side point, I don’t approve of him getting her to take up smoking as a way to bond.
• Her co-worker at the Vet’s office is Polly (Anna Faris from Scary Movie 1-4) , a flirtatious airhead who completely dresses up for work, highlighting the contrast to the drab May.
• It’s a good idea they kick the film off with May stabbing herself in the eye – because the first hour of the film is a story about this gawky girl who fails at relationships. Why she’d consider using her eye as it’s imperfect seems like just a plot device. You could dismiss it by saying she’s desperate and psychotic, but the film keeps mentioning her obsession with ‘perfect parts’.
• There’s an unintentionally hilarious segment where May brings Suzie the doll to blind kids. They have a tug of war with the glass case, it breaks and the kids’ first instinct is crawl along the glass, cutting their hands and knees. Thought it was ridiculous and quite funny, just as May decides to rub her eyes despite it obviously having little glass shards. Jaysus madam!
• Dressing in black/more goth-like really suits May. SO much better than dressing like a raggedy doll with patches. Her Halloween dress is actually really fucking cool.
• Some punk called Blank putting the moves on her (ah it’s so hot in here! Lemme take off my shirt!) is great. He had a great 3 minutes on screen.
• There’s killing but no gore. There’s a nice shot of blood mixing with milk. Kills are quick are shots last a few seconds max.
• I don’t buy how this loneliness/difficulty ramps up into murderous, psychotic obsession. She didn’t have those to begin with, and her actions later contradicts what she said in the beginning: “I like every part of him (especially his hands). To the doll “You’ve been my friend my whole life, I need a real friend”.
• Absolutely loved the final note the film ended on.
Overall: It’s more of a dark drama. The pace is fine, Bettis does a great job in the role but it isn’t that engaging. Wouldn’t recommend but it’s a competent film.