Analysis of There's something about Mary

Summary The movie is about a nervous high school student named Ted who wants to reconnect with his old crush, Mary, and find a prom date. He hires a private investigator named Pat Healy to help him track down Mary, but Healy’s lies and criminal past put Ted’s chances with Mary in danger. Mary deals with her own relationship issues and the interference of her friend, Tucker. Eventually, Ted and Mary connect on a deeper level, but their happiness is threatened by the deceit and desperation of those around them. In the end, love prevails and Ted and Mary end up together.

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Ted Ted is a nervous and insecure teenager who becomes a determined and nostalgic individual willing to go to great lengths to win over his lost love, Mary, only to realize his misguided idealization of her. He's complex, with emotional baggage and self-destructive tendencies, but ultimately learns a hard truth about love and confronts his own mistakes before he can move forward. While Ted's character arc is compelling, it seems disjointed at times, with Ted's motivations and actions not always aligning with his previous behaviors. The narrative could benefit from clearer foreshadowing and character development to make Ted's transformation more organic.
To improve Ted's character arc, consider integrating his past experiences and struggles more seamlessly throughout the story, tying them together with his journey to win back Mary. Additionally, provide more exploratory scenes that delve deeper into Ted's emotional state, motivations, and growth to create a more cohesive and satisfying character arc for audiences to follow.
Mary Mary starts off as a friendly and empathetic girl, but her experiences throughout the movie help her develop into a strong and independent woman who values authenticity and independence in herself and her partners. She is initially torn between multiple men and their conflicting intentions, but ultimately finds the strength to make her own decisions and follow her heart. The character arc of Mary could have been more consistent throughout the movie, as there are many different elements and plot points that don't always tie together cohesively. Additionally, there are times when Mary's character seems to be relegated to a background role rather than the main focus of the story.
To improve the character arc of Mary, there could have been a clearer and more unified plot thread that focused on her journey and growth throughout the movie. Additionally, the filmmakers could have given Mary more agency and depth by exploring her own goals and desires, rather than simply being defined by her relationships with the male characters. Finally, it would have been beneficial to emphasize her intelligence and independence more throughout the movie, rather than relying solely on her kind-hearted nature to define her character.
Healy Healy goes through a transformation from a crass and skeptical character to a somewhat eccentric and endearing man who is passionate about his work with mentally challenged individuals. He struggles with his own dishonesty and criminal past, but ultimately seeks redemption through philanthropy and a desire to win Mary's affection. However, his obsession with Mary ultimately leads him down a dangerous path. While Healy's character arc is intriguing and provides a good contrast to Ted's more straightforward quest for love, the sudden shifts in his personality can feel jarring at times. Additionally, his obsession with Mary seems to come out of nowhere and could have been foreshadowed more effectively throughout the film.
To improve Healy's character arc, the filmmakers could have included more scenes that highlighted his passion for working with mentally challenged individuals. They could also have slowly built up his obsession with Mary throughout the film, making it feel more organic and less sudden. Additionally, they could have focused more on the repercussions of Healy's lies and criminal past, and how those things ultimately catch up to him.
Magda Magda starts off as a quirky and nosy neighbor, with a strong sense of duty to her neighborhood. However, as the movie progresses, Magda develops a more compassionate side and becomes a supportive friend to Mary and Healy. She no longer gossips or is overly opinionated, and instead provides comedic relief and moral support to the main characters. While Magda does have some development in the movie, her character arc seems to be a bit lackluster compared to the other characters. She is mostly just a source of comic relief and doesn't have as much depth as Mary or Healy.
To improve Magda's character arc, it would be helpful to give her more personal stakes in the story. Perhaps she could have a subplot where she learns to overcome her nosiness and become a better listener, which could tie into her newfound compassion. Additionally, it would be helpful to give her more agency in the story and have her play a more active role in the climax.
Tucker Tucker starts as a concerned friend who becomes emotionally invested in Mary's relationship with Healy. He confronts Healy, becomes his sidekick and commits crimes, but ultimately realizes his loyalty to Mary outweighs his loyalty to Healy. He comes clean about his lies and helps to bring Healy to justice. Although Tucker's character arc is interesting, it lacks consistency and feels disjointed at times. His motivations and actions are not always clear, and his transition from concerned friend to criminal feels abrupt.
To improve Tucker's character arc, it would be helpful to establish his motivations and relationships more clearly throughout the movie. This could be done through additional scenes or dialogue that show his loyalty to Mary and his growing attraction to her. Additionally, his transition to criminal activity could be better explained and developed, so that it feels like a natural and believable progression rather than a sudden change in character.