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Anthony M. Bertram
Do we ever get what we want? Brian sells mattresses in a warehouse store. His father and older brothers have material success; he wants a child. He's applied to adopt a baby from China. A man who appears homeless seems to be stalking Brian with violent intent. He meets Happy, the daughter of a rich, quirky customer. She doesn't stick to anything, but she and Brian hit it off, except for her vomiting when she learns about his adoption idea. He wants her to meet his family, and there's a call about the adoption. What will Happy do? Written by
Refreshing for a first time director, Matt Aselton has managed to bring a new dimension to the acting repertoire of his leads, Zooey Deschanel, Paul Dano, and veteran, John Goodman.
Deschanel in particular shines brightly in Gigantic, as a privileged, underachieving heiress who is facing up to becoming a woman evidenced in the empathy her character, 'Happy', somehow manages to elicit.
Gigantic certainly plays against gender expectations, as Deschanel's love interest, Dano, looks to fix a situation in order to mend himself, indeed, this is a chick flick that should also appeal to guys; funny, rude, touching, violent, gentle, brutal, kindly, inconsiderate.
Once you overcome the gimmick of the unique premise mattress salesman who wants to adopt a Chinese baby this really becomes an enjoyable watch, peppered with cool, sharp dialog and seasoned with warm, elevated charm. It is a movie in which the viewer is invited to contemplate how inner turmoil can be overcome if one doesn't give up on what one wants.
Shot in 35mm, it is also a beautiful thing to behold, and with a soundtrack (scored by Roddy Bottum) that includes Animal Collective, there is much about Gigantic which stays with the viewer long after its conclusion not least the movie's Fight Club character: as Zach Galifianakis portrays a brutal representation of disconnection.
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