How ‘May December’ on Netflix Reflects Mary Kay Letourneau’s Tabloid Sex Scandal

“May December”- The subject of a decades-old tabloid sex scandal receives a visit from a famous actress who is set to play her in a movie, Todd Haynes’ Netflix thriller “May in December.”

‘May December’ on Netflix Reflects Mary Kay Letourneau’s Tabloid Sex Scandal

Julianne Moore portrays Gracie Atherton-Yoo, a 36-year-old employee at a pet store who was discovered having physical with a 13-year-old kid. Gracie started a relationship with Joe (Charles Melton), who is currently the same age as Gracie as when they first met after he had his first child while incarcerated. When Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman) shows up at Gracie and Joe’s lakeside home to research her subject and rock the boat, they are settling into a tranquil suburban life with their three children—the youngest of whom is ready to graduate from high school.

The film is partly inspired by the Mary Kay Letourneau tabloid controversy of the 1990s, which explains why the plot feels so much like it was plucked from the headlines. Letourneau, a 34-year-old elementary school teacher, began a physical relationship with 12-year-old student Vili Fualaau. After a nine-month relationship with Fualaau, Letourneau was arrested and convicted of two counts of second-degree child rape.

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While awaiting sentencing in 1997, she gave birth to Fualaau’s first child; In 1998, while Letourneau was serving a 7.5-year prison sentence, they gave birth to their second child together. In 2005, Letourneau married Fualaau when she was 21. They remained married till the year 2019. Letourneau died of cancer a year later at the age of 58.

Penelope Ann Miller played Letourneau and Omar Anguiano played Fualaau in the USA Network TV movie, which was inspired by the event and debuted in 2000. Letourneau worked with the producers on the film and even had a phone conversation with Miller to give him information about the role. ,

Haynes claimed that when directing “May in December” he first attempted to draw parallels between the film and the actual Letourneau scandal.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Haynes said, “I really started by setting it aside and saying, ‘Okay, let’s look at the specific choices and differences that Sammy Burch’s script makes from the Mary Kay Letourneau story. . .” “But in the end, there was no way to avoid it.”

Haynes said that although Letourneau was “quite a different character than Gracie,” “there were things that were really helpful about the uniqueness of Mary Kay Letourneau.” An example is the way he speaks; In the film, Gracie has a distinct stutter that changes.

Haynes commented, “Marie Kay Letourneau has this charming sort of lazy tongue.” “That’s where the stammer comes from.”

Story of ‘May December’

In the film, Gracie is portrayed as “unpredictable” and tells Elizabeth that her decisions in life are “safe”. In a 2018 A&E Network Biography special, Letourneau made a similar point, asking, “Am I sorry that he’s the father of my children, that we’re married, and that he’s the love of my life? No, I’m not. 

Another way that “May December” reflects Letourneau’s life is the way the women interact with their older and younger children. Gracie has three children with Joe in “May in December”, in addition to having more children with her ex-husband Tom (D.W. Moffett). There was a age gap of about twenty years between her younger and older children when they had an unpleasant encounter in a restaurant.

Letourneau similarly had four children – two with Fualaau and four with her first husband Steve Letourneau. In 1998 his youngest child was born, while in 2010 his eldest grandson was born.

“My oldest kids have always known me, and they’ve gotten to know Willie, too,” Letourneau said in the 2018 special. Although they are now adults and have individual lives, during their formative years, they continued to yearn for each other.

You can watch “May in December” on Netflix now.


Does Netflix offer “May December” for streaming?

Todd Haynes, filmmaker of May December (now available on Netflix), returns to the rich melodrama of his best films, Carol and Far from Heaven.

Was it the female instructor who had an affair with her disciple?

Inside the Relationship That Shook a Nation: Mary Kay Letourneau and Her Student. Mary Kay Letourneau was acclaimed as a teacher for her ability to understand the world from a child’s perspective.

Why is it named “May December”?

In response, director Todd Haynes says, “May December is a term for a relationship between someone younger and someone much older,” which I’ll let you use from an interview for the film’s production notes.

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