Tribeca Film Festival: “Mark, Mary & Some Other People” Review

90 minutes | USA | 2021

Director: Hannah Marks
Editor: Andy Holton
Cinematographer: Casey Stolberg
Composer: Patrick Stump
Producers: Hannah Marks, Pete Williams, Jon Lullo, Brendan Walter, Jonathan Duffy, Kelly Williams, Stephen Braun
Writer: Hannah Marks
Cast: Ben Rosenfield, Hayley Law, Odessa A’Zion, Nik Dodani, Matt Shively, Sofia Bryant

Mark, Mary & Some Other People is about couple who is experimenting with having an open relationship. It’s not the type of film I’d usually seek out. But then, I will pretty much watch anything! I wasn’t interested in the orgies in Eyes Wide Shut or the villain origin stories of Joker and Cruella, yet I saw these films anyway with varying degrees of enjoyment. And I was hesitant to watch Mark, Mary & Some Other People, not just because of the subject matter, but because I saw Permission in 2017 thanks to Movie Pass. It’s the same kind of film. While Marks’ film is way funnier and punchier, it still follows the same kind of trajectory and probably isn’t going to win any new converts to polygamy. If that’s your bag, fine, but when I go on dating apps, I am looking for one person. And there is always a couple looking for their “unicorn” despite my settings and filters. But hey, do your own thing.

Mark, Mary & Some Other People follows Mark (Ben Rosenfield) and Mary (Hayley Law) from the moment they re-encounter each other in a drugstore after knowing each other from college. Mary thinks it’s a “meet-cute”. I guess from the moment Nancy Meyers revealed what a “meet-cute” was in The Holiday (2006), almost every rom-com feels the need to not only have one, but to explain what one is. Frankly, it’s kind of tiresome and unnecessary (especially if it’s not a real meet-cute since they met before).

The main moral issue is not the ethical non-monogamy, but that Mark’s company that he co-owns with his father (who we never see) is based in plastics. Mark attended two women’s marches, though, so he thinks he’s a good person and his response is literally, “Fuck the ocean.” I’m not sure the film is as woke as it wants to be. The film is just basically pregnancy test after pregnancy test with Mark and Mary constantly hooking up with others and a threesome thrown in for good measure.

The film has great psychedelic titles, mainly funny jokes and dialogue, and tons of great songs featured (Cults’ “Always Forever” immediately added to my Apple Music playlist). Sometimes the characters are too flexible with their own standards, but at least they came up with some ground rules, right? And maybe it doesn’t necessarily work out the way they wanted everything to. That’s their business, so feel free to join the ride or have them go their own way. 

Rating: 6/10

Vegan points:
When Mary’s love interest wants to order a BLT, Mark says “Poor little piggies”

Article was written by Allison McCulloch. Follow her Twitter.

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