Raw, real and intense.
A Date for Mad Mary is a must-see. Set in Drogheda, Seána Kerslake, protaganist of Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope shows off her immense and diverse talent. No longer a polished office gal from Mallow, she shows another grittier level as a woman who has just gotten out of prison following an assault in a night club.
It’s rare that I enjoy something that’s based on Irish culture but no one can ignore the amazing one liners within this film. I mean the bridal shop is hilariously named Bride Sally Bride. I don’t think I have EVER experienced so many belly laughs in the space of an hour and a bit.
The grand-mother’s few lines are killer:
“There’s a load of polish moved in next door”
“You look like a hure.”
The cinematography is so unobtrusive that you find yourself fully engrossed within the text without even noticing. “Mad” Mary has left a girl with a permanent scar across her face and there is an underlying tone of instability within the character’s persona but you can’t help but root for her throughout the movie.
The film hits so many killer points in such a stylish way. An example of such can be seen when Mary is asking the bloke in the pub to go on a date with her. He looks at her like she has two heads because dating in Ireland is non existent. It’s not the done thing. It’s not cool. Irish romance generally includes a night-club or a tinder match and if you’re real lucky, someone might even get you a vodka and white in an attempt to grab your affection.
While being blissfully real, the movie shows a gritty reality that is the passage of time. We are constantly flitting between the relationship Mary and Charlene once shared in their youth to the present which offers a bleaker insight. Charlene has moved on. She looks down on her former best-friend. Mary is unable to move on from the past and so she is a punching bag to the bridezilla.
We don’t see many gay or lesbian relationships portrayed in Irish productions, but, A Date for Mad Mary tenderly illustrates the relationship between Mary and Jess in an underrated and relatable way. The bus journey home with the mussed hair has to be one of the funniest scenes in Irish film in the history of time.
Mad Mary leaves you wanting more. It leaves you asking questions. Questions like; If I made a mistake, would I ever be able to redeem myself? How do relationships change so much in such a short period of time? Is love more to do with the person rather than their gender? Why didn’t I come up with this idea before Darren Thornton?
Well Done Mr. Thornton. You’ve nailed it.
Go see it in the Irish Film Institute where you can grab an elder-flower Tom Collins beforehand for extra enjoyment.