6.6/10
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26 user 4 critic

The Civilization of Maxwell Bright (2005)

After a series of bad relationships, a man orders a mail order bride and receives more than he bargained for.

Director:

David Beaird

Writer:

David Beaird
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7 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Patrick Warburton ... Max Bright
Marie Matiko ... Mai Ling
Simon Callow ... Mr. Wroth
Austin Pendleton ... Jaurice
Jennifer Tilly ... Dr. O'Shannon
Kurt Fuller ... Berdette
Eric Roberts ... Arlis
Keith Diamond ... Jackson
Rick Mali Rick Mali ... Timo
Constance Hsu Constance Hsu ... Mrs. Wroth
Bryan Clark Bryan Clark ... Justice of the Peace
Erryn Cleaver Erryn Cleaver ... Erin the Makeup Artist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monique Coppola Monique Coppola ... Gabby Client (scenes deleted)
Leland Crooke ... Buddy DeHare
Cathryn de Prume ... Helen
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Storyline

After a series of bad relationships, a man orders a mail order bride and receives more than he bargained for.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A misogynist. A Chinese woman. Together they find his soul. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language including sexual references, some sexuality and graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sex & Violence See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the standoff at the store, the gun Max is holding jumps from one hand to the other. See more »

Quotes

Max Bright: [first lines - serene temple setting] There is a Zen saying: the true Buddhist will gladly jump into hell in order to save another human being.
[abrupt transition to noisy domestic dispute]
See more »

Soundtracks

"We're Back
Written by Randy Wachtler
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unexpected and compelling film.
30 October 2005 | by shrinksSee all my reviews

A plot synopsis of this film has been provided by at least one other reviewer, so I'll skip that. What was striking and refreshing about the film was its refusal to get psychological. I don't think anyone can watch this--especially the first 15 minutes--without wondering where Max's incredible anger comes from. It would have been tempting for the writer/director to include some sort of exposition of his childhood and/or his relationship with his mother and other women, either as flashback or monologue. Instead, what you see is what you get. Max is infantile and uncivilized (as the title implies) and no bones are made about it.

Still it's tempting to speculate. For example, one wonders if his life became chaotic after the loss of his initial girlfriend--the one we get a very good look at in the beginning--or if it was always like that. Does the absence of unconditional love throw his life into nihilistic disarray, or does he just require a girlfriend to keep his house clean? Why does Mei-Ling accept him twice, the second time after he's humiliated her horribly*? Does she see a big teddy bear in there or is she taking him on as a project? I see this as a strength of the film. Too much psychologizing feels like condescension. "Here. Let me explain every motive the characters have because I'm sure you're not sharp enough to think about them on your own." This is an excellent and powerful film, which ultimately imparts a sense of tenderness and peace without ever becoming mawkish.

*After having thought about it and, thanks to comments from other viewers, I have a theory about this question. If a Buddhist would enter hell in order to save another person from it, Mei-Ling continued to accept Max in order to take his place in hell. Perhaps the Buddhists know that such an act will redeem them both.


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