The love story between the late Mary Kay LeTourneau and Vili Fualaau is getting a film version loosely based on their controversial romance called May December, referring to their age difference. It stars two Oscar winners, a Riverdale actor and is helmed by an award-winning director. Details on the highly anticipated film after the trailer dropped on September 26.

Who Is Starring in ‘May December’?

Julianne Moore plays a woman named Gracie Atherton-Yoo who is loosely based on former schoolteacher Mary Kay LeTourneau, while Natalie Portman portrays actress Elizabeth Berry, hired to play her in a movie about Gracie’s relationship with a much-younger man, Joe Yoo, whom she met and became involved with while he was in seventh grade. That character is played by Charles Melton. The film is directed by Todd Haynes, the auteur behind such films as Carol, Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven.

What Is the Plot of ‘May December’?

Natalie’s character travels to Maine to get to know Gracie and Joe. In one scene from the trailer, Julianne’s character tells her, “I want you to tell the story right, don’t I?” It’s revealed that Charles’ Joe and Gracie met when he applied for a job at her pet store in his summer following seventh grade.

When Gracie asks Elizabeth why she wants to play her, she recalls reading the script and explains, “Here is a woman with a lot more to her than I remember from the tabloids,” as pages of a tabloid show a story about the “Pet Store Romance” and how Gracie and Joe’s baby was “born behind bars.”

“What would make a 36-year-old woman have an affair with a seventh grader?” Gracie’s ex-husband later says while chatting with Elizabeth. Joe later tells her, “People see me as a victim. I wanted it,” referring to his romance with Gracie.

What Is the Release Date for ‘May December’?

The movie premieres on Netflix on November 17, 2023, just in time for awards season.

How Does ‘May December’ Reflect Mary Kay LeTourneau and Vili Fualaau’s Relationship?

Mary Kay was Vili’s former sixth grade schoolteacher. Their relationship began in 1996 when he was 12, while she was 34. At the time Mary Kay was married to Steve Letourneau, with whom she shared four children.

The former educator and her student were caught in a car together on June 18, 1996, by police although they were ultimately let go after being questioned. Later that year, Mary Kay became pregnant with the couple’s first child, Audrey. She was born in May 1997 while her mom was on trial for sexually assaulting her father.

Mary Kay pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child rape. On November 14, 1997, she was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years behind bars. In January 1998, she was released from prison after serving only six months. The following month, Mary Kay and Vili were caught together again, and she was sent back to prison to serve her full sentence for violating her parole.

During their encounter while she was free, Mary Kay became pregnant with their second child, daughter Georgia, who was born in October 1998 while she was in prison.

Mary Kay was released from prison in 2004 and went on to resume her romance with a then-21-year-old Vili. The pair wed on May 20, 2005. The couple eventually divorced in 2019 and Mary Kay died at the age of 58 on July 6, 2020, following a battle with cancer.

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