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Friday
Apr032009

Movie Review - 'Gigantic'

Gigantic

Starring Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel, and John Goodman
Directed by Matt Aselton
Rated R



giganticposter.jpg Brian Weathersby (Paul Dano) has always wanted to adopt a baby from China. His father (Edward Asner) remembers Brian's eighth birthday, and he was disappointed even then that he didn't get a Chinese baby. But now, 20 years later, he might only be months away.

What do we do when we live out our dreams, the goals that we've built our entire lives around? I suppose it's probably better to know you've accomplished the goal than to know that you can't, but it still must leave an empty space in your life, because the longing is gone.

Matt Aselton's Gigantic is less about the adoption of a Chinese baby and more about the unfulfilled life the baby will undoubtedly change. Brian works at a high-end mattress store. He makes 5% of everything he sells, and one morning, he sells a $14,000 mattress to the eccentric Al Lolly (John Goodman). He's an odd penny, a man who blusters that he has the ninth fastest tennis serve in the world or that meditated a brain tumor the size of a squash ball out of his frontal lobe and hoarked it up several months later.

Al is nothing like his daughter, Harriet (Zooey Deschanel). She prefers being called Happy, and she'd probably prefer being happy even more. Deschanel has played characters like Happy before - slightly askew, vulnerable, and entrancing. Brian is instantly captivated by her, and she him. And though the film wanders into love story territory, this really isn't about their relationship. It's about Brian finding places to fit all these new things in his world.

He's an interesting character, well written by Aselton as a guy who gets a lot more about himself than most people would imagine. He has more bravery than he shows a lot of the time and though it may not be the path for everyone, Brian not only is aware of his journey, he's also in control of it rather than the other way around.

There are some peculiar scenes in Gigantic that are meant to show us Brian's fears about himself and the future, visualizations that illustrate how the wide, wide world can make you feel helpless and insignificant. I think they're mostly unnecessary, especially because Brian faces his real world hurdles everyday.

But while the structure of the film kind of muddies the plot, Aselton has developed a great cast of distinctive characters with character. From Brian's ocassionally gruff family to the kooky Lolly clan, Aselton has shown he's spent time with each of these people to give them a reason to enter Brian's life. And they all represent some part of him that hasn't fully moved forward even though he's on the precipice of not being a kid with dreams anymore. He's about to be a man with responsibilities. Then what?


Watch the Gigantic trailer

Reader Comments (1)

Maybe we should see Brian’s attacker as Terrorists impeding the young American’s goal of embracing the world; striking at will, difficult to identify, difficult to injure, like in any types of cancer requiring face-to-face understanding of the Terrorists issues to gain resolution.

Monday, October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPamela Dinger

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