We gave it a B
Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko’s smirkily audacious Mail Order Wife starts off as a documentary about a Queens doorman with an ugly shrub of hair, a body as bulky as a washing machine, and a stare of the damned. When he picks a comely young Burmese mate out of a catalog, you think: This is just the sort of guy who would want a mail-order bride. When she arrives in New York, and he begins to treat her like dirt, you think: I knew this wouldn’t work out. And when she responds by running into the arms of Gurland, who looks like a sleazy young Marvin Hamlisch, you think: Okay, what, exactly, is going on here… Everyone knows what a mockumentary is, but what do you call a documentary that teases us into deciphering whether it’s real or not? Like last year’s Incident at Loch Ness, which followed Werner Herzog’s discovery of the Loch Ness monster (I almost bought it until Nessie popped out of the water as often as Jaws), Mail Order Wife is dedicated to the idea that truth is stranger than fiction even if it is fiction. It took gifted hucksters to make this movie, a funny and spirited — what to call it? — crockumentary.