Thirty-seven year old Mavis Gary seems incapable of happiness. She has had one failed marriage with no romance in her immediate horizon. She ghosts writes a young adult series of books, which has just been canceled due to low sales. She is in the process of writing the last book, with which she is having a mental block. She lives vicariously through Kendall Strickland, the teenaged female heroine in her books, as like Kendall she believes her high school years were the best years of her life when she was the prom queen. When she receives news that her high school beau, Buddy Slade, and his wife, Beth Slade, have just had their first child, Mavis takes it as a sign that she and Buddy are meant to be together. As such, she devises a false pretense to travel from her Minneapolis home back her her old hometown of Mercury, Minnesota to reclaim Buddy from Beth. As Mavis slyly or not so slyly does whatever she can to hang out with Buddy, even in Beth's company if need be, she also runs into ... Written by
In the bar scene where Mavis meets Matt Freehauf, Mavis tells him about her 'disturbingly popular teen book series', and he asks her if it's about vampires. This is a blatant reference to Twilight (2008), a film that Elizabeth Reaser (Beth Slade) starred in 2008. See more »
When Charlize Theron is sitting in KFC, the cup says KGC from one angle and then KFC from another. While thought to be a mistake, the cup reads "KGC" because for a short while, Kentucky Fried Chicken tried to rebrand itself as Kentucky Grilled Chicken, offering a healthier option to their original fried chicken. The cup bears the new, short-lived KGC logo. See more »
This is one of those films you read about and really look forward to; but, once seen, you realize that, while good, it's not quite worthy of the build up.
Charlize Theron is quite good and makes the most of the script she has to work with. As always, hers eyes, facial expression and body language all help her bring life to the role.
Patton Oswalt also does a star turn as a bit of conscience for Charlize's character.
The story is well told, albeit a bit of a stretch. For someone reaching back to her past for a lost love, Charlize's character is quite believable; it's her long ago beau, Patrick Wilson, that's not quite up to snuff. Given that these two play off each other for a great deal of the film, it would be nicer to have had a better performer opposite her.
That said, it's worth watching, though probably a bit depressing for many viewers.
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