Matchmaker Mary

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Matchmaker Mary Movie Poster Image
Bland yet wholesome film about helping others find love.
  • G
  • 2009
  • 73 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

This film is intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

With a positive attitude and a willingness to gently nudge destiny in the right direction, love will happen for those who need it the most. Being kind and thoughtful is a good thing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mary is a hardworking student, a kind and considerate daughter, a loving owner of an adopted puppy, and a selfless friend willing to do what it takes to find love for both her lonely adult friends and her parents.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Matchmaker Mary is the uber-wholesome story of a young girl who adopts an orphan puppy and is then inspired to help bring about love between the lonely adults around her and her parents who are going through a rough patch in their marriage. Produced by a Christian filmmaking company, the movie is filled with messages about helping others, being selfless, and living a squeaky clean lifestyle.

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What's the story?

After earning an A on her final paper for school, Mary is allowed to adopt a puppy from a local shelter. Inspired by the bond that forms between her and the puppy named Tillie, Mary decides to play matchmaker. First she brings together a puppy with an artist mourning the recent passing of his dog Romulus; then she finds a puppy for a woman who is depressed over being jilted at the altar. Pleased with her results, she decides to play matchmaker between the adults around her. She connects Cameron (Jeff Fahey), the man in charge of the shelter, with her Aunt Karen (Dee Wallace). Next, she connects Eric the artist with Cynthia, the recently-jilted woman. However, Mary's matchmaking skills are put to the supreme test when her own parents go through a rough patch in their marriage, and Mary must find a way to make things right.

Is it any good?

Outside of Jeff Fahey (who was also in later seasons of Lost) and young Katherine McNamara (who plays Mary in the film), the acting in MATCHMAKER MARY is stiff, emotionless, and leaden. It takes 40 minutes of context to get to the actual story (and the movie is only 73 minutes long), and the background music, rather than heightening or working with the emotion attempting to be conveyed on screen, more often than not interferes and sometimes drowns out the dialogue.

Clearly, Matchmaker Mary is going for a kind of wholesome "Triple G" rating; grieving characters turn to old Chinese food and bottled water rather than more common vices used in these situations. Still, if you're looking for a 100 percent family-friendly movie with puppies and kind kids who are positive role models, Matchmaker Mary is a safe bet.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about taking care of newly adopted puppies. How accurately does this film reflect the realities and responsibilities of taking care of a young pet?

  • Can you tell this is a Christian-oriented film? What are the clues?

  • How, through her deeds and words, is Mary a positive role model for kids? Do you expect role models to be realistic, with normal flaws, or do they have to be perfect?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

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