Gigantic

"OK"

Gigantic Review


If you're going to make a film about two people falling in love, having two likable lead actors is an excellent place to start. For director Matt Aselton's first-time effort, Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel fit the bill just fine. Alas, Gigantic isn't on par with their on-screen charms, letting down them -- and us.

There's certainly enough promise on hand -- quirky characters, quiet pacing, quick and unforced wit -- but it appears Aselton would rather go for disaffected style than narrative substance. And that unfortunately cheats some fine performances and, at its core, some wonderful larger ideas.

It all starts with Brian (Dano, thrilling in There Will Be Blood), a subdued specialty mattress salesman who's dreamed his entire life of adopting a Chinese baby. But adoption applications from single, 28-year-old guys don't usually float to the top of the pile.

Enter Happy (Deschanel), a curious mix of shyness and decisiveness who falls asleep on one of Brian's mattresses... and then falls for Brian. As their relationship slowly blossoms, unfortunate attempts at spare, indie dialogue fly. And it soon becomes clear that Aselton and co-writer Adam Nagata are using the adoption idea solely as a plot device, rather than an honest point of emotion or desire.

It's too bad, because it's an original, touching take on the adoption story, but we don't get any hows or whys. Instead, the concept is used as a convenient wedge to scare away Happy; worse, Brian's elderly dad (a warm, wise Ed Asner) admits that his son has wanted a Chinese baby since he was eight. What?! Without further explanation, that's just needlessly edgy -- and creepy.

But Deschanel and Dano, taking stabs at executive producing, hold up their end of the bargain. They successfully carry the lack of convention Aselton is clearly trying to sell; yet the couple still attracts us to their courtship. You can see it in their faces: Dano's dreary visage gives way to occasional confidence or happiness; Deschanel is all wishful thinking behind those sweet, hopeful eyes.

When they are the focus, Gigantic works. When the film throws in peripheral weirdos like Happy's father (a fun John Goodman), Gigantic feels like a collection of loosely connected shorts. And loosely collected oddballs. The guy who greets everyone with "What's up dude, not much." The rich brother who favors Asian handjobs. The family who does 'shrooms before searching for the edible ones in the forest. Why fill a film with little eccentricities when there's a bigger, more sincere story to tell?

In small doses, Gigantic is smart, sweet, and amusing. At times, it actually feels like Aselton is close to putting it all together with a style that's as likable as his two stars. But Gigantic finally sinks under the weight of its peculiarities, making a possibly big story feel like no big deal.

Huge. Enormous.



Gigantic

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th June 2009

Distributed by: First Independent Pictures

Production compaines: Gigantic Movie, Epoch Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 53

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Matt Aselton

Producer: Mindy Goldberg,

Starring: as Happy, as Happy's Father, as Brian, as Kirby Weathersby, as Barbara Weathersby, as John Weathersby, as James Weathersby, as Roger Stovall, Daniel Stewart Sherman as Kevin Blue, Mary Page Keller as Marguerite Lolly, as Homeless Man, Brian Avers as Larry Arbogast, as Missy Thaxton, Susan Misner as Melanie Lolly, Matt Walton as Conner Williams

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.