While watching Missed Connections, we remembered reading in a Paulo Coeho book (Eleven Minutes) that entire economies and cultures of the world were based on the minutes of intimacy shared between two individuals. That novel was published in 2003, and almost twenty years later, we believe that it has all been recalibrated to assuage the fear of not “ending up alone.” One might think that individuality is gaining precedence in modern times, but having a partner is still seen as the way to a superior kind of life. To prove our point, let us look at the different reactions brought on by these two statements: if someone says, “I am a complete person by myself,” they are called brave, but if somebody says, “My partner completes me,” it is the most romantic and beautiful thing in the world. Nobody actually forces anyone to be in a relationship, but the language we use and the goals we aspire for in life make it clear that being with someone is always better than being alone. The systems of the world are simply designed that way, and it is no surprise that people like Mae often succumb to that pressure and fear. Let’s take a look at Mae’s romantic journey through this recap of Missed Connections.
Does Mae Find True Love With Norman?
Missed Connections is an app where people can look for someone they might have felt a connection with but did not get the chance to get their contact details. It sounds a little shady, but the movie does not explore too much of the app’s functioning. Mae looks for a guy named Norman in the app, whom she met in a supermarket and found to be very cute. To her surprise, she finds that he is also looking for a girl matching her description. Both of them connect on the app and meet. However, that is when Mae finds that she is not the “grocery girl” that he was looking for. But Norman is sweet enough to continue their meeting, and during that time, Mae finds out that he is a web developer and asks him to help with her t-shirt-selling website. Norman agrees, and over time, both of them strike up a friendship.
The problem is that while Norman has made it clear that the two can only be friends, Mae thinks they are in the early stages of a courtship. She constantly sees the vision of her ex-boyfriend Mark, who is always around her to voice her deepest insecurities, including that she is “unlovable.” Mae pushes aside those doubts and continues with her daydreaming of Norman. But things take a turn when he actually meets the real grocery girl, Julia. Mae is extremely jealous, and upon stalking the girl online, she finds that she is a successful hairstylist and an influencer. She has everything going on for her, and Mae’s insecurity is further fueled by that since she is not nearly as successful. She meets Julia under the pretext of getting a haircut, and the next time, she meets her at an event when she is with Norman. Julia recognizes Mae and understands that Mae likes Norman; however, she is nice enough to tell her that she loves him just as much.
A jealous Mae gets drunk and creates a Facebook page where she posts old photos of Julia partying with her friends. The message of the page is to raise questions about Julia’s character. When Mae wakes up the next morning and finds that she has accidentally made the page live, she is horrified but unrepentant. When her aunt asks her not to meddle like that with a couple, Mae is adamant since she desperately wants to be in a relationship so that she has someone who loves her to compensate for her own lack of love for herself. Mae is desperately defending herself, saying that she is just protecting Norman, but if that was her intention, she should have spoken to him privately instead of publishing those photos in that context to the entire world. What she did is soon revealed when Norman, Julia, and Mae come face-to-face, and in the confrontation that follows, Mae confesses to her actions. Norman is annoyed and doesn’t want anything to do with her anymore.
‘Missed Connections’ Ending Explained: How Does Mae Get Over Her Love For Norman?
Heartbroken at the loss of her friendship, Mae is taunted by the ghost of her past love as he points out that Mae just needs the crutch of other people’s love to support her since she is not strong enough to do that. Hearing this is what gets Mae off her feet, and she finally clears her home of all the memories of her ex and stores away the keepsakes of her parents. Her hoarding tendencies stemmed from her not wanting to let go of the people around her, but now she wants to have healthier relationships with their memories. Mae has always believed that she loves too much. But as Mark said to her, she never listened. It all comes back to the basic reasoning that love by itself is not enough. One needs to respect the other person’s choices and space for a healthy relationship. The “too much love” of Mae just crowded itself into that space. Mark had told her that he was unhappy, but she had never tried to resolve their differences. Norman had told her that she was only a friend to him, but she thought her extra love could fix that. Mae’s problem was not a lack of love to give and receive, it was the lack of everything else that made a healthy relationship, which needed to start with herself.
After clearing out the stuff and deleting the page on Julia from her social media, Mae starts gathering her life again. At the end of Missed Connections, Mae meets Mark (the real one) who apologizes for cheating on her and asks for her forgiveness. Mae has let go of him and finds it in her heart to forgive him as well. Even her t-shirt business has picked up, and she is now running it with a few other employees. Finally, Norman and Julia are back together, but they are not in Mae’s life anymore. It would have been too far-fetched to expect that, but Mae has let go of Norman as well and unfollowed him on social media. Later, when she meets a boy in a supermarket, Mae is tempted to look for him on the app, but now that she is learning to love herself, she doesn’t chase the missed connections anymore in the pursuit of what could have been. She uninstalls the app, deciding to focus on the present and what is around her in her life instead.
Missed Connections takes a while to pick up, and Mae’s journey of self-love was a little too simplistic. We can understand it coming from a place of not wanting to be your current self any longer, but we still feel that there should have been some focus placed on her journey after that realization. Ignoring this flaw, it is a sweet movie in its second half once you wait for it.