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Mail Order Wife Summary


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Andrew Gurland is a New York City filmmaker interested in making a documentary about an average guy and his marriage to a mail order bride. Andrew finds the perfect subject for his film and decides to fund the marriage in exchange for the right to film the entire process. He finds what appears to be the ideal candidate in Adrian Martin, an overweight doorman from Queens who has renounced dating and seems optimistic about choosing a bride from overseas. After corresponding with Burmese women from a catalogue, Adrian selects Lichi, a beautiful woman in her twenties whose ad and letter pique his interest. The filmmakers pay for Lichi's flight to America, and soon she finds herself immersed in American married life--which, in Adrian's household, involves little more than one's cooking and cleaning duties. Andrew initially looks past the fact that Adrian treats Lichi more like a domestic servant than a companion. The entire project comes to a startling halt when, without Lichi's knowledge, Adrian takes her to the gynecologist for a consultation about tubal legation (sterilization). Lichi quickly discovers what the Doctor visit is for and rejects the procedure. Andrew thinks Adrian has crossed the line and when a heated argument ensues, Adrian terminates his involvement in the documentary. Two months later, Andrew receives a surprise visit from Lichi, who is there to reveal a shocking videotape documenting her bizarre life as Adrian's wife. Feeling partially responsible for her increasingly despondent situation, Andrew urges Lichi to leave her husband and offers his apartment as a safe haven. What transpires is beyond anything Andrew or Adrian could imagine, as their experiences with Lichi lead them through a series of unpredictable events, ultimately culminating in a showdown in Miami that reveals the lengths that both men and women will go to in order to avoid being alone.