'Mary and Max' is one of those movies that I WANTED to like a little better than I did. The story is certainly unique; the film spans the 20-year pen-pal friendship between "Mary Daisy Dingle", an 8-year-old girl living in Australia with her alcoholic mother, and Max, a 44-year-old obese man with Asperger's Syndrome living in New York City. One day, at her local library, Mary finds Max's address in an American phone book and casually writes him a letter; after much panicking about how to handle his unexpected mail, Max writes back to Mary, and they continue to correspond off and on for the next two decades.
The film is clay-animated; through both narration and occasional dialogue, it shows us the ups and downs of Mary's and Max's individual lives as well as their friendship. Despite being animated, the movie isn't for young children, as there are some very dark themes; that said, 'Mary and Max' bills itself as a comedy and there are indeed many clever and humorous moments throughout the film (however, this one is definitely a "black" comedy).
The film moves at a fast pace, and I enjoyed the narration and the score. I also liked seeing how these two lonely, outcast characters were able to make a connection through "snail mail". I preferred Mary's character to Max's -- but it was interesting to see *both* of their lives, although the constant "down" moments of each character grew to be a bit much.
I can't pinpoint exactly what didn't work for me in this movie; there was no major issue, just lots of little things here and there. Also, I kind of wish it had ended differently.
Still, 'Mary and Max' isn't a bad movie by any means. (I doubt that I'll watch it again, but I didn't consider it a waste of time, either.) I could see how some viewers might really get something out of it; but, for me, it was just slightly better than okay. (5.5/10)