When meeting people, don’t say that you like weird things unless you sincerely mean it. This week I revisited 2002’s May written and directed by Lucky McKee and the film still holds up after all these years. Although a nice girl, May is one weird chick indeed.
May Canady (Angela Bettis) was born with a lazy eye, she’s also a bit strange. She spent her childhood as an outcast because of her imperfection. To make up for not having friends, May’s mother gives her a homemade doll named Suzie for her birthday telling her, “If you can’t find a friend, make one”. The doll is in a wooden case with a glass cover and May is instructed never to remove Suzie from her box. As an adult, May is a medical assistant and in her spare time, she’s talking to Suzie and on her sewing machine making clothes. May meets a man named Adam (Jeremy Sisto) and develops a crush. They date until things go sour due to May’s awkward behavior. When May ends up feeling hurt and alone by everyone she’s let in she decides if she can’t find a friend, build one.
We can’t ignore that there’s something mentally unbalanced about May, but perhaps if kids weren’t so cruel and if she were on medication then maybe she could’ve been a better member of society. May’s psyche never stood a chance with the way people treated her as a child because of her lazy eye. May just wanted to be seen, and everyone has felt that at some point and time. That trait is what humanizes May and makes you feel for her. The film says something about how the fixation on beauty and perfection can have an impact on someone.
The awkward scenes between May and Adam feel very real, especially the scenes after their breakup. I cringe watching them interact with each other which means that Bettis and Sisto did fantastic jobs with these roles to make them so believable.
I also liked that May also celebrates the horror genre. I appreciate the reference to Dario Argento’s Trauma (1993) and the short horror film that Adam makes. It also reminds us that something bloody will eventually happen.
I love May with all my heart. It’s a horror classic in my opinion. The buildup is great and so are the characters. Angela Bettis puts on an amazing performance bringing such an unconventional character to life and making us invest in her. I can make this movie a double feature and hopefully, you can too.