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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Realistic writing captures the imagination

10/10
Author: NYCPalmer from New York City
23 January 2003

Outstanding writing--everything falls into place from beginning to end. A tour-de-force!

"Mary and Joe" will continue to startle and amaze for years to come. Something new to discover and discuss on each viewing. Well directed, with solid performances from both the leads and supporting actors.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

What an amazing and thoughtful film

10/10
Author: Kimberlyjeana (kimberly_richards@comcast.net) from United States
22 December 2002

This is an incredible re-telling of a familar story. This movie asks the question "what if we were still waiting for the messiah?" In this movie..Our adorable couple Mary and Joe (who are totally devoted to "waiting for marriage") find themselves in the most amazing storyline. God has heard the prayers of His people and has sent "the Messiah" to a young NY woman from the house of David. She must somehow tell the man she loves that God has told her - she is pregnant with the Messiah.

From the first minute you can not help but love "Mary and Joe". Mary is so fresh, young, full of life... Joe is so in love with her.. The casting of the two lovebirds is what makes this film so great and the story is so powerful. It makes you consider - how did the real "Mary and Joe" feel going thought everything leading up to that awesome night.

More than anything this movie really makes you think.. which is what I consider the ear mark of a great film.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Intriguing Modern Retelling of the Nativity Story

8/10
Author: srritenour from Grove City, Pennsylvania
23 November 2002

John Hamilton has produced one of the most original versions of the Christian Nativity story in quite some time. Hamilton begins with the premise, "What if we were still waiting for Christmas?" and he succeeds in making a film that is by turns heart warming, heart wrenching, and, finally, joyous.

By setting the biblical account of Mary and Joseph in contemporary New York, Mr. Hamilton confronts his audience with the news of the impossible. The film begins with Mary being told by her doctor that her pregnancy test came back positive, a fact she finds incredible because she is a virgin. Through watching how the parents, friends, and neighbors of Mary and Joe react to this unmarried pregnant high school senior, and how Mary and Joe deal with this reality personally, we are given the opportunity to evaluate our own reactions to such a claim.

Outstanding performances include Erin Bridges as Mary, Linda Levine as Anne Rosenblum (Mary's mother), and Josh Gad as the Angel.

The writer and director of Mary and Joe is obviously no skeptic, but he is no peddler of evangelical kitsch either. John Hamilton has produced a serious though not stuffy film examining the miracle of the Incarnation.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Unfortunate Waste of Time

1/10
Author: pittsfilmbuff from Pittsburgh, Pa
26 December 2002

Hamilton not only usurps the local help he uses, but the viewer's time as well. Set in New York, but obviously filmed (poorly) in Pittsburgh, Hamilton makes no attempt to create continuity or any interest in the characters themselves. The actors and actresses try hard, but can do little with lines like, "Joe, my kosher boyfriend" or "I love your little body, my angel."

Hamilton seems to be in love with not only seeing his own name on screen, but with his overly long script. He feels some strange, sick compulsion to show Mary's ENTIRE OB/GYN exam, a long high school dance (complete with adulterous principal hitting on students), and Mary throwing up in the bathroom at school. He also deems it necessary to show Joe gazing down at the Christ child with a bloody pocketknife in one hand and an umbilical cord (held like a piece of beef jerky)in the other.

This is not a Christmas film to show your children. It's not a Christmas story for your friends. Unless you have some urge to hear horribly bad eighties keyboard music dubbed shoddily over even worse dialogue and stiff acting, I would steer clear of this film. Do not plan to be entertained, amused or enlightened. Instead, plan on being stupified, not by wonder, but by boredom.

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