A Date for Mad Mary
Seána Kerslake, Tara Lee, Charleigh Bailey,
Fresh off serving a six-month jail sentence for brawling, an unorthodox maid of honor (Seána Kerslake) embarks on a time-crunched search for an acceptable bloke to be her “plus one” at the tightly choreographed ceremony of her stressed-out and slightly distant best friend (Charleigh Bailey). While this might sound like fodder for standard rom-com fare (except for that jail part), director Darren Thornton’s energetic debut, based on a stage play he also directed and adapted for the screen with brother Colin, avoids conventions and stays focused on its mercurial, well-drawn characters who are living in an Irish port town. One of the pleasures of A Date for Mad Mary is its unpredictability, as the foul-mouthed, volatile Mary returns home and eventually befriends the enchanting Jess (Tara Lee), a singer and part-time videographer, who assists her in an attempt to find that elusive wedding date. In between this alternately humorous and poignant quest, Mary labors at trying to craft the perfect maid-of-honor speech, a redemptive exercise that expresses as much about herself as her relationship with the bride-to-be. You’ll likely never forget the fiery, trouble-prone Mary nor the passionate yet vulnerable performance at the heart of the film from Kerslake.