High Points In Quiet Moments: Our Review of ‘Mary Goes Round’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - April 05, 2018
High Points In Quiet Moments: Our Review of ‘Mary Goes Round’

Mary (Aya Cash), a Toronto addiction counselor isn’t good at connecting with her patients. She relies her Masters instead of using her past experience as an addict, which is going to come in handy. She drives under the influence, which makes her work put her on a sabbatical. Things are about to get much worse for her. Her estranged father Walt (John Ralston) keeps texting her. Since there’s nothing for her to do, she decides to come visit him in his home in Niagara Falls. His selling point in calling her down is to introduce her to her half-sister Robyn (Sarah Waisglass). That is part of his real reason. Besides, introducing the two sisters would be a practical movie. They’ll be the only family they’ve got since he is dying of small cell lung cancer.

Writer-director Molly McGlynn’s movie Mary Goes Round is worth watching for Cash’s performance as a self-destructive alcoholic. However, there’s this sense that Mary’s worst times are also when the script has the most cliches. McGlynn is aiming for authenticity here but there are moments when she’s relying on tropes. Apparently a film about a female alcoholic isn’t complete with said protagonist dancing on top of bars. This is how McGlynn introduces Mary to her audience. It thus worried me that Mary will just go through the motions. Thankfully McGlynn gets out of this early funk and shows us variety. During the film’s first few minutes, we see Mary in many forms. Sure, there’s the insufferable party girl yelling inappropriate things at people. There’s also the Mary who’s willing to reveal her truths.

The script does have its bright spots, especially when Mary is doing less and talking more. Mary is witty in watchable regardless of other characters receiving her well or otherwise in whatever scene she’s in. That quality showing itself when she’s calling out the inane immaturity of bridal showers. There’s also woman portraying womanhood that has nuance in its messiness. The film takes off when she meets her match in Robyn. It plays on an innate sadism in watching two people who dislike each other. Mary wrongly assumes that Robyn is a typical angst-y or apathetic teen. However, Robyn always keeps herself one step ahead of Mary before treating this stranger as an equal. Perhaps the film needs some breathing room but I occasionally forget that when I hear these characters talk it out.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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