May (2002)

directed by lucky mckee
2 loop films

Now here we have a bona fide black comedy. This is a dark, dark picture, but it is laced throughout with unmistakable pathos, and the escalation of terrible miseries suffered by the eponymous character produces a kind of shell-shocked humor. Certainly, very little in this movie is funny per se, but it lurches enough toward the absurd to make it matter. It would be hard to definitively describe this as a horror film, but in all honesty, I’m not sure what else it could be called, either, given the internally logical extreme it eventually reaches. Carried not only by its madcap premise – May has trouble making friends, let’s say – but by the outstanding title performance from Angela Bettis, it’s an engaging accomplishment. Which is not to say it’s for everyone. In fact, a sequence or two in the latter half had me watching from between my fingers, and I seek out movies like this on purpose. But it manages to tug at the heartstrings in between blows to the head, and even the hokey (and ultimately predictable) final scene couldn’t besmirch it too much. I can see why this was a critical success.

why did i watch this movie?

I really, really liked McKee’s The Woman, and as mentioned just above, this flick got good press and sounded like my kinda thing.

should you watch this movie?

I would describe it as an emotional investment, but with that advisory, yeah, I recommend it.

highlight and low point

Several of the roles are performed impeccably, particularly May’s, and the more overtly funny moments are pretty damn good. (One of which is also among the sadder moments.) After the long, careful buildup, the decline and fall happens a little too quickly, but it’s easy enough to accept given the circumstances.

rating from outer space: a-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s