Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Angela Bettis plays May Canady in the somewhat horror movie ‘May’.  She’s a pretty damn good actress too.  I mention this, because despite her obvious talent, she is one freaky looking young woman, probably destined to be typecast in the role of the misunderstood freaky chick until she quits acting.  Hell, the next role Ms. Bettis landed after doing ‘May’ was playing freakin’ Carrie White, the penultimate freaky chick, in the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie.  If they remake ‘Cybil’, which I’m sure they’re planning to do one day, Ms Bettis is sure to be up for the role.

Little May was born with a lazy eye and had to wear an eye patch as kid, which of course led to her being constantly brutalized by her peers.  Friendless, May’s persnickety mother gives her the gift of an incredibly freaky looking doll in a glass case, a doll her mother had made.  ‘If you can’t find a friend, make your own’ mom would tell the young May.  Words May would take to heart.

Years later, May has grown into bizarre looking young woman working as a surgery tech at an animal hospital.  She wears these thick ass glasses to keep that eye straight, because when they come off, man that eye has a freaking mind of its own.  The receptionist at the hospital, Polly (The lovely Anna Faris, who may want to invest in a pair of eyebrows when the opportunity presents itself) is an airhead lesbian who seems to have taken a liking to strange and reclusive May.  But may has her eyes on the mechanic across the street, Adam, played by Jeremy Sisto.  Particularly his hands.  Perfect hands May would say about them.  Though Adam readily admits that May is weird, he claims he likes weird.  Or at least he thought he liked weird.  May is pretty damned weird, plus she has a penchant for showing up your doorstep and not knocking.  Just waiting for you to come out.

Oh man, this reminds me of a story, forgive while I diverge as usual.  I had this friend, let’s call him Hugo.  He was dating this woman, let’s call her Alma.  He broke up with her right, but didn’t tell his roommate.  So Alma comes over one night while Hugo is sleeping, and Hugo is awoken by the drips of water on his face.  He opens his eyes and sees Alma standing over him, crying, holding a knife.   Dear God that was funny.  Man we laughed for days about that one.  Don’t worry, he disarmed her and called the cops or whatnot, but it was definitely one of those ‘laugh about it later’ funny moments.  Dang.  I think I used their real names.  Note to self, go back and change those before you publish this review. 

‘May’ has a couple of things working for it and against it.  On the negative side, it’s a little slow and plodding and bit too deliberate in its delivery.  However, I could easily see where one could find this as deep, introspective and self examining.  I just wouldn’t be that one.  ‘May’ is also a difficult movie to categorize, as I suppose it could be placed in the horror movie genre, but it’s also an extremely warped character study.  Not a lot of frights, but a few shocks here and there.

What ‘May’ has working in it’s favor are the real portraits of it’s characters, particularly May.  She’s nutty as a can full of Planters roasted to be certain, but her descent into complete madness is a slow and steady one, and completely within the realm of reality.  The characters who have wronged May haven’t really wronged her at all.  Adam gave it a game try to start a relationship with May, but realized that she was just to weird and slowly backed away, but not in a mean way.  When a young man finds a dead frozen cat in Mays freezer, he reacts justly.  He probably didn’t expect May to react the way she did, but on second thought, when you find a dead cat in someone’s freezer, you should assume that anything is possible.

All in all I found ‘May’ to be mixed bag off good ideas, real characters and long bouts of tedium.  A film where the sum its parts didn’t quite equal to a whole.

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