Thrilling Tom cat, perverts and penis injuries: The Farrelly Brothers’ “A Tale of Mary” is not a story of sexual conquest between a boy and a girl. Instead, it’s the story of a desirable woman who is relentlessly pursued by a group of pillows. Heck, even the great Jonathan Richman would jump out of the soundtrack and play the song from a tree where he could see the stately Mary in all her glory instead of being trapped in the dark in the studio. “Mary has something,” he sang, “they don’t know.”
However, there are plenty of stalkers throughout the movie who know exactly what he means. They were fascinated by the certainty displayed by the beloved Mary. They felt betrayed by her friendly attitude, unable to see beyond her, so much so that they could hardly take a minute without taking the peeper off her. She entertained them from afar, and they were deeply, madly, truly infatuated.
Their infatuation even prevents them from actually communicating with her in any way that could make a connection that goes beyond lies. For example, if Tucker (Lee Evans) somehow got her on a date and got into a relationship, how on earth was he going to get off his crutches? How does Pat (Matt Dillon) get around the fact that everything he knows about her was previously observed through binoculars?
These obstacles mean that, for the most part, they are content to bow to their glorious je ne sais quoi. As long as she stays single and leaves a ray of hope, they like to wander like voyeurs. When they interact, they also like to think of themselves as avatars, fake characters designed for maximum empathy—the next best thing to true empathy.
All of the above can easily be applied to OnlyF if you’ve swapped out your window for a webcam. Beloved beautiful woman who has the reign of devotees. The modern world is full of long-distance relationships, and “Something About Mary” — accidental or otherwise — seems to perfectly encapsulate the dynamics of one-way internet events.
If Mary offered to sell her dirty socks, they would make a fortune. This premise propelled OnlyF to a $1bn valuation in 2022 after a pair of brothers invested just $11,000 (£10,000) in 2016 (note not the Farrelly brothers behind ‘Something About Mary’, coincidence would be a good thing).