Mavis Gary has her heart set on winning back her high school boyfriend, Buddy. He’s happily married with a new baby, but this doesn’t distract her. She is determined to reclaim him against all the odds. She’s a successful teen writer who left her small hometown for the big city. But her big city life is empty and sterile – she’s divorced, an alcoholic, soon to be unemployed, and is trapped in adolescent romantic fiction. She forms an unlikely relationship with an old classmate, but he can’t save her from herself.
Mavis is unfulfilled, lonely, disconnected from herself and others and Theron does an excellent job in this role. It is a dark comedy, one that makes you cringe more than laugh. It’s honest and sharp and certainly not a typical romantic comedy. As Mavis drove away at the end, I was relieved that her life was not mine.