Not since Muriel's Wedding have marital concerns felt so amusingly raw and honest. A Date for Mad Mary is a charming coming-of-age story that is sparingly humorous, often melancholic, but always engaging.

Mary has just been released from prison, as her troubled background of drinking and goofing around resulted in six months' jail time for a violent pub brawl. Alienated from her social circle, Mary accepts the maid-of-honour responsibility from her soon-to-be-wed best friend Charlene (Charleigh Bailey), but discovers it's not so easy to find a date for the wedding. Her lack of focus and motivation to get her life back on track doesn't help matters and cracks begin to appear in their friendship. When she strikes up a relationship with the wedding photographer Jess (Tara Lee), it awakens amorous sensibilities in her that she hadn't previously considered.

Although billed as a comedy/drama the film is sparse on the laughs, missing golden opportunities to take advantage of humorous situations. However, gravitating toward the serious side does not go without its rewards as the film maintains its character study with pin-sharp clarity throughout.

Although A Date for Mad Mary doesn't break any new ground, it exhibits a confidently assured (if slightly thorny) approach to its subject matter and despite hitting many familiar beats, its rhythm is impeccably in-time.

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Cast:

Seána Kerslake, Tara Lee, Charleigh Bailey

Director:

Darren Thornton

Rating:

M (offensive language)

Running time:

82 mins

Verdict:

DID YOU KNOW...

Based on a true story, the real-life Annabelle doll was a Raggedy Ann toy, however filmmakers decided to use a porcelain doll in the film to make her appear more sinister.