Length: 93 minutes
Director: Lucky McKee (The Woods; All Cheerleaders Die)
Writer: Lucky McKee (The Woods; All Cheerleaders Die)
Starring: Anna Faris, Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Nora Zehetner, James Duval, Ken Davitian, Kevin Gage, Nichole Hiltz, Merle Kennedy, Will Estes, Roxanne Day, Samantha Adams, Brittney Lee Harvey, Lucky McKee, Jason Thornton
I’ve heard about “May” since it came out and have always debated renting/buying it. As time has grown since it’s release it seems to have gained a sizeable cult audience. I learned before watching it for the first time last night that an acquaintance of my girlfriend and I’s picks her boyfriends by their reaction to this film- that alone could make an interesting story. Though, to be fair I suppose, the lead character of May Dove Canady is your classic socially awkward loner. All the Goth girls you saw at school that didn’t run in cliques? That’s May. She dresses different, acts different, but is, when the film opens, an innocent person who just wants to be loved. Her loneliness and desire for human connection is what drives her over the edge. Fans of the film seem to have disagreements about what category it falls into- comedy, horror, tragedy. There are elements of all three, but tragedy would fit it best- though any movie where someone stabs their eye out with a pair of scissors is probably going to end up under the “Horror” section at Blockbuster. May, is indeed, quite lonely. She works at an animal clinic along with an immigrant doctor (“Borat”’s Ken Davitian) and a beautiful, flirtatious lesbian named Polly (Anna Faris- wonderful as always) who lets her intentions for May be well known. May kind of likes Polly too (“You have the perfect neck”, she tells Polly. May likes perfect body parts), but she finds herself infatuated with a local loser named Adam (“Six Feet Under”’s Jeremy Sisto). Adam has the perfect hands and shows a returning interest in May, but not the same kind that she has for him. After Adam, a lame aspiring filmmaker, shows May a short film he made in which two lovers bite and kiss each other with their own blood, May gets the wrong idea and scares Adam off. She can’t quite let Adam go so easily and she’s starting to grow tired of Polly’s interest in other girls (After May catches her with another girl, Polly tells her: “you’re still my main girl”). If only she could create the prefect person, just like the ceramic doll she was given as a child. The doll that remains in it’s case and seems to communicate with her. May starts to go off the deep end and although there’s no excuse for her actions, it’s hard not to sympathize with her. Angela Bettis gives an amazing lead performance. Her voice and subtle character nuisances are perfect for the role. It would be hard to imagine any other actress here instead. Director Lucky McKee has a keen eye for visuals (and a love for Kim & Kelley Deal's music), but his story development needs a little work. It’s been said that a more lengthy section involving May’s tough upbringing was edited out of the movie before it’s final release and at an hour and a half, the movie wouldn’t have over stayed it’s welcome by including it. The movie is also bound to repulse some viewers. It is a disturbing picture. There are funny moments and lovely, beautiful sequences, but underneath May’s heart may beat with a sad lonely thud, yet the thud also has a connection with a demented mind. So in the end is it really May’s fault? Don’t we all want the perfect person? Perhaps the most disturbing thing about “May” is that maybe we can all in some way identify with what she’s looking for.