YOU have to hand it to Charlize Theron - as beautiful and glamorous as she is, throughout her career she has not been afraid to take on roles which call for her to be plain and unattractive, both inside and out.
In this thoughtful but dark comedy from the writer of ‘Juno’, she plays Mavis, a former High School queen from a small Minnesota town now living in the big city and ghost writing ‘young adult’ novels.
After a messy divorce, she receives an invitation to her former sweetheart’s baby shower and so decides to return home to win him back.
Instead, she finds that while she has not really grown up, the people in Mercury have, including former beau Buddy, and she is now isolated and alienated from those she knew.
She finds an unlikely friend, of sorts, in Matt, a crippled schoolmate who isn’t afraid to tell her the truth, but ultimately, Mavis is too blinkered by denial of the inadequacies in her own life to accept the changes in others.
Theron is wonderful as a totally unlikeable character and is backed by an excellent supporting cast.
There are a few laugh out loud moments but the strength of this film is its ability to make us recognise little bits of Mavis in all of us.