Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Movie review: A date of Mad Mary

Last week-end I came across a trailer for newly released Irish movie "A date for Mad Mary". I wouldn't have given a second thought until I read it had been shot in Drogheda, the town where I work! The trailer made me laugh and I love Irish cinema in general, so I invited my neighbour and off we went to see it, in Drogheda of course!

To be honest, I thought I was in for a comedy, but the movie is actually deeper and more subtle than a couple of jokes or bad language.

Directed by Darren Thornton, it tells the story of Mary, who has just been released from a short stay in prison (we don't know the reason until much later in the movie), and returns to her hometown of Drogheda. She tries to rekindle her friendship with best friend Charlene, who is getting married and has asked her to be maid of honour.

The only problem? She doesn't have a date. And she only has three weeks to find one. Mary also has a bad reputation as a short-tempered girl that unfortunately hasn't gone away since her stint in prison. Living in a small town where everybody knows her really doesn't help on her path to recovery.

Just when you think you have the movie figured out, the director takes you in another direction and that's the beauty of it. Sometimes the characters are not even likeable. You're rooting for Mary to get her life back together, and then she does something stupid. You understand the stress of bridezilla Charlene, but can be disappointed in her attitude at times.

The movie is also well served by supporting actresses like Mary's grand-mother with a few priceless one-liners. Mary's mum is also brilliant as the cougar, trying to give her daughter dating tips, and Sharlene's other bridesmaid who resent Mary for being the maid of honour.

I don't want to spoil the movie too much, but all I can say is that it's a story about self-discovery and the dynamics of friendship. You swear you're going to be best friends forever, then life gets in the way, people change and drift apart. But it's not all negative. Sometimes the end of a relationship means the beginning of a new one...

All of that is done in pure Irish style. The first half is more light-hearted with laughing out loud lines and situations, and the second half is more subtle, more emotional. And if you live in or around Drogheda, you're in for a treat with familiar views of the town.

One thing for sure, this movie won't leave you indifferent.