<Movie Details
1 September 2010 by Tim Evans

Melbourne schoolgirl Mary Daisy Dinkle (Collette) is a single child with eyes the colour of muddy puddles. Her favourite food is sweetened condensed milk and she would like a real friend (not another invisible one).

Clinically-obese Max (Seymour Hoffman) is addicted to chocolate hot dogs and National Geographic Magazines, lives alone in a grubby Manhattan apartment and wants a buddy who isn't a plastic figure.

While on a trip with her sherry-slurping mum to the local library, Mary rips a page out of an international phone book and decides to write to a random listing - New York's Max Jerry Horowitz.

Slowly, their unlikely correspondence blossoms into a sort of letter-born therapy as both writers detail their unhappy circumstances, sharing their disappointments while supplying one another with regular shipments of homegrown chocs.

Max's life consists of reluctantly attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings, dodging the attentions of the predatory Marjorie Hyacinth Buttersworth and pondering that if taxis go backwards do they owe you money?

Mary has to get over the deaths of her neglectful parents - her alcoholic, kleptomaniac mother and Baileys-swigging taxidermist dad - and make a success of herself as a writer.

However, the knocks they take are hard ones - Max's frustration with the illogical nature of the world is diagnosed as Asperger's Syndrome while Mary blissfully marries her Greek neighbour Damian (voiced by Eric Bana) only to discover he is not as other men, setting up home with a Kiwi sheep-shearer.

Lugubriously narrated by Barry Humphries and touchingly voiced by Collette and Seymour Hoffman, this marvellously crafted "clayographic" animation deftly celebrates difference and the desire for acceptance and love.

It's what Pixar might come up with if their characters found themselves off the rails.