If I had to describe the new film presented by First Independent Pictures, "Gigantic", in one word, it'd be weird. If I was able to use two words, I'd say, really weird. In his first feature, film-maker Matt Aselton, offers up some interesting and appealing characters in a not so interesting or appealing story. The movie begins with the meeting of two quirky twenty somethings, deftly played by Zooey Daschanel as Harriet and Paul Dano as Brian. Harriet is endearing and Brian is the familiar male lead we've seen in recent years, an awkward fairly dorky guy who successfully captures our heart. The two seem to work in a strange sort of way and are part of the reason I kept watching. The story had a painfully slow 48 minute setup before anything of really happened, with the exception of a recurring character… sometimes in the form of a homeless man, and even a telephone repair man who continues to physically torture the male lead, Brian. Never did I get what the purpose of this seedy character was and in the final physical altercation, I began to question his very existence. Aside from that distraction, Ed Asner of course did a great job with the role of Brian's father, and John Goodman was a standout in his take on a very non-traditional father to Harriet. I wish we were able to see more of Jane Alexander, who played Brian’s mother but I did enjoy what we did see of her. The film was an official selection for the 2008 Toronto Film Festival so maybe there are some, in air quotes, artistic elements, but I just didn’t get it. I laughed out loud probably a dozen times, nothing making me laugh enough to snort, but I did laugh. Oh, there was one thing that was absolutely fantastic about this movie… the soundtrack. Joe Rudge, the Music Supervisor on this flick can spin at my house party any day. All in all, there was no real conclusion and no lesson learned; just some good characters in decent roles that took us nowhere, slllooowwwlllyy. For Movie Magazine International, I'm Dawn Bailey.
© 2009 - Dawn Bailey - Air Date: 04/09
USA - 2009