Gigantic (2008) Poster

(2008)

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5/10
A sagging mattress held up by the support cast
tigerfish509 December 2010
"Gigantic's" main protagonist is twenty-eight year old Brian - a morose, mumbling, monosyllabic mattress salesman. Some jaded film-goers might feel they've witnessed Paul Dano portraying this character's clone on several previous occasions, and met Brian's charisma-free loner cousins overplaying their sensitivity and quirkiness in far too many Indie projects. In 'Gigantic' Brian possesses the stubborn ambition to adopt a Chinese baby - a plot contrivance which appears principally designed to conceal his stupefying dullness. Despite being single, earning little money and suffering from violent hallucinations, he considers himself good parent material - and some irresponsible adoption agency (that could only exist in an Indie universe) seems to agree.

The story begins when Al Lolly, an overweight businessman with chronic back problems, visits the gloomy mattress warehouse where Brian is employed. Big Al purchases a top-of-the-line item and later sends his beautiful daughter to settle the bill. When she arrives on the scene, it's soon apparent that Happy Lolly equals Brian in the quirky troubled department. She asks him to help transport her father to a chiropractic appointment, and while the oddball soul-mates wait for Al to conclude his treatment, Happy casually inquires whether Brian would be interested to have sex with her. He doggedly obliges in the underground car park - and so it comes to pass that the loony lovers embark on their lukewarm love affair. If truth be told, the romance doesn't amount to much - almost immediately Happy expresses her neuroses with lame attempts to escape the relationship, while Brian continues on his doleful way obsessing about Chinese babies. Like it or leave it - that's how love is in Indie-World.

'Gigantic's' script is a strangely schizophrenic beast - the main narrative arc is the lovers' moth-eaten romance, but the rest of the dialog contains some offbeat black humor, providing John Goodman, Ed Asner, Jane Alexander, Clarke Peters and Zooey Deschanel with the raw material to create some authentically original characters. Somehow, mysteriously, their combined talents just manage to keep 'Gigantic' afloat while Dano impersonates a sack of potatoes in the central role.
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1/10
Wasted time and effort
okieindian19 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Sometimes a movie comes along that makes the worst movie I've ever seen previously seem to have been not so bad. Gigantic is one of those movies. Lousy acting, lousy dialog, lousy plot, stupid throughout, with no rhyme, or reason. I've heard that if we were to put a hundred monkeys in a room full of typewriters, that they would eventually produce a screen play. Too bad that the folks behind this piece of dung did not use more monkeys. While it is obvious that the current crowd in the film-making business are attempting to excel in garbage and foist if off on the general public as art, it is equally obvious that nobody with half a brain can find even one redeeming quality in this movie... (Except for those who produced it who have sold it to the rental for big bucks and will receive praises from other film-making idiots who think that praising garbage is the thing to do. th vomiting in the film pretty much describes my feelings about Gigantic! Aaarrgghhh!!!
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2/10
When "indie" turns irritating
TestChimp4931 October 2009
Incredible cast wasted in this tiresome indie comedy that wears its quirks like lead balloons. Pseudo clever dialog and over the top characters combine with heavy handed symbolism making this one a tough slog for even the most undiscriminating fan of independent film. Precious and pompous, it's one of the worst examples in recent memory of the kind of trite self important spew that exists in the fevered imaginations of hundreds of interchangeable film school grads and Wes Anderson wannabes. After too many of these you'll find yourself screaming back to the multiplex and begging for a Hollywood blockbuster to erase the memory.
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7/10
A big, big love
ellis-rs21 October 2009
After reading the comments and reviews on this page for the film Gigantic, I felt compelled to register an account on IMDb and add my own voice to the apparently confused chorus. My reaction to the film itself was strong, but not nearly as strong as my reaction to the comments people have been adding to this page. If I had gone to check IMDb site for the film before seeing it, as I usually do, I probably would have been turned off by the low rating and negative comments, and wouldn't have ended up seeing this little gem of a film. And that would have been too bad, because it really is a nice little film; One that has qualities that apparently inspire vitriol in some viewers, but their anger and 'disappointment' just bewilders me.

What is not to like in this film? The cast is amazing. The performances are top-notch and completely appropriate for the tone that director Aselton is trying to create. I've read comments that have mentioned 'believability' of certain scenes and plot points, but I think these types of viewers were doomed to misunderstand the film from the very beginning (and isn't it always these viewers who do choose to comment? bashing on what they don't understand). And that's not even to say this is some kind of elitist 'quirky indie' film as most people suggest. It's to the point now where 'quirky' is just another derogatory and pejorative term for something outside the realm of someone's expectations, experience, and capability of understanding. It's a term the narrow-minded use.

Gigantic is well worth your time and money. It's shot beautifully. It has some great performances that create genuine laughs, not from absurdity for its own sake or from cheesy one-liners, but from the performance choices themselves and from the character development. Did I mention Matt Walsh was great as well? The whole cast is wonderful, and I personally look forward to whatever Aselton does next.
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Chinese water torture
Ali Catterall15 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The dictionary defines 'Gigantic' as 'Giant-like in size or stature.' So this film's title is presumably ironic - if any one movie could be described as an Anti-epic, it's Gigantic, the kind of mumbling, lank-haired, achingly self-conscious indie rom-com that gives mumbling, lank-haired, achingly self-conscious indie rom-coms a bad name.

Gigantic is like prima facie evidence for non-believers: 'this is why indie films suck. Nothing makes sense. The plots are in-jokes. The in-jokes lack punchlines. The romantic leads are repellent oddballs who speak in stilted voices.' Here, they come in the executive producer-friendly shape of Zooey Deschanel - truly, the Katy Perry of Indiewood, and Bud Cort-alike Paul Dano, the pale and interesting girl's poster boy of choice. They're kooky! And altogether ooky.

Did we mention that the title was ironic? A little shuffling weed of a movie Gigantic may be, but it does deal in giant-sized subjects: first love; starting a family; being forcibly chucked in at the deep end of maturity. Stuff which, in accordance with indie practice, is subject to the usual arch detachments. But by obtusely refusing to even paddle in the emotional or dramatic depths, Gigantic renders itself utterly insipid and almost totally pointless. Irony is a sweet poison. It must be handled with care.

Paul Dano is Brian, a cow-eyed shoe-gazer from a family of high achievers. He flogs high-end mattresses from a New York warehouse showroom resembling the gritty unit HQ from 'The Wire' - so much so, there's even Clarke Peters (The Wire's Lester Freamon) flopping out in the corner. Has the Curse Of The Wire struck again? After Dominic West in 'Hannibal Rising', short-lister for Worst Film of 2007, and Idris Elba in 'Obsessed', contender for Worst Film of the Decade, the evidence is mounting up.

Into this nest of slackers drops John Goodman's larger-than-life exec Al Lolly, who is looking for a quality mattress to fix his chronic back problem. Al sends his Bambi-eyed virginal daughter Harriet (Zooey Deschanel) along afterwards to settle up. Brian gets it on with Harry - or 'Happy' (yeah it's ironic). Brian reveals he's been trying to adopt a Chinese baby since he was 8-years-old. Happy gets cold feet and bails out - the most realistic move she's made so far, given that this is a virgin who potters round her dad's house in a modified bunny girl outfit, answers the door in a dressing gown that barely covers her assets, and strong-arms this Mogadon-magnet into the back seat of her daddy's car with the artless phrase "Do you have any interest in having sex with me?" after five minutes of meeting. Can a certain two-foot high Deus ex Machina reunite them? And will Brian ever shrug off that psychotic Gilliam-esquire hobo who's been stalking and knocking the jenny out of him for no good reason from the start?

"This has been going on for a long time" groans Brian, following another beating from that clearly imaginary, ferociously metaphorical homeless guy. Viewers may feel like blurting out the same in the face of a movie so tiresomely quirky and exasperatingly aloof that at a modest 98 minutes feels three times the length.

Gigantic wants to be a Sundance movie so badly it hurts. Unfortunately, the absence of silly bourgeois trifles like heart, charm, or even wit, prevents its elevation to the status of a 'Secretary', 'Juno' or 'Little Miss Sunshine.' The latter's Dano, one of the most fearless young actors working today (let alone 'There Will Be Blood', check out 2001's 'L.I.E.' for some early, brilliant promise) is essentially muzzled here, as Deschanel competes for the distinction of most catatonic cat.

When Jane Alexander, playing Brian's mum, finally shows up at the end to talk some sense into Happy, it's like a jet of cool, cleansing water blasting away all that obfuscating mud. Yet almost it spite of itself, the film does articulate certain contemporary truths: in Gigantic world, sex is snatched at by adults with the psychological makeup of children; while parents are leading infinitely more fascinating lives than their offspring. The great Ed Asner and John Goodman, playing Brian and Happy's dads respectively, tear up the screen every time they appear, whether hunting for magic mushroom or hawking up their own brain tumours by willpower alone. They're not remotely realistic either, but at least they're better value than the leads, numbed by life. Those two review stars are for Asner and Goodman - one each. But it's two more stars than the film deserves.

Want a fantastic, unselfconsciously quirky indie rom-com about emotionally blunted, poor little rich kids finally facing up to life? Try 'Harold And Maude.' Gigantic needs overhauling from the direction down.
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7/10
A fine bed
David Ferguson19 April 2009
Greetings again from the darkness. I thrive on indie films and am always anxious when a first time director manages to break through the politics and red tape and gain distribution for his/her pet project. The debut from Matt Aselton is far from perfect, but certainly provides high expectations for his next film.

Blessed with a terrific cast including Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood), indie favorite Zooey Deschanel, John Goodman, and veterans Ed Asner and Jane Alexander; Aselton creates some odd characters that somehow connect not only to each other, but also to the viewing audience.

The film does sometimes suffer from the mistake of many first time filmmakers ... inclusion of scenes that have always been in the mind of the writer/director, but just don't quite fit in the context of the film. The brutal attacks/images by the homeless guy (played by comedian Zach Galifianakis) and the massage parlor scene are two that jump to mind.

On the other hand, and more importantly, there are a few scenes that are remarkable and really provide hope for Aselton's next film: When Zooey first awakens from her nap in the store, she and Dano have an exchange that sets the stage for their relationship; the family dinner without Zooey; John Goodman on his kitchen floor and at the doctor; Jane Alexander on the balcony with Zooey proves what an effective and elegant actress Ms. Alexander remains as she is the first one to connect with Zooey on an adult level. These all result from the creative mind an eye of Mr. Aselton and have set the bar high for his next outing.
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9/10
This is definitely one viewing worth making
unclejester23 March 2009
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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'Brian, there's a goose loose in the caboose'
Chrysanthepop21 October 2010
I'm surprised at the so many negative reviews that Matt Aselton's 'Gigantic' received, as I found it to be quite a charming, funny, absorbing and well-made little film. I suppose not everyone appreciates subtle storytelling and that much of 'Gigantic' is open to interpretation (for example the homeless man, whom I interpreted as Brian's alter-ego).

The quirky premise may appear a little awkward on the surface. I can see why some people interpret it as 'a cry for attention' but the film does not dwell on that. It's very story oriented and focuses on issues such as family relationships and growing up. The characters are quirky but easy to identify with. The sharp dialogues are wonderful and funny.

'Gigantic' is a well made film. The soundtrack and cinematography are a good fit. Soundtrack itself is worth a buy. The art direction is toned down. Aselton tones down the colour to give it a cold look as the warmth is expressed in the interactions of the characters. The lighting is used efficiently.

The cast has done a commendable job. Even though many have disliked Paul Dano's performance (most of them commenting that he wasn't quirky enough), I felt quite the contrary. He downplays the part very well. Zooey Deschanel is nothing short of excellent. Even though she has played similar characters before, her approach to playing Happy is very different. John Goodman, Ed Asner and Jane Alexander and Zack Galifianakis are great.

Aselton's debut is a fun and absorbing watch and it lingers in mind long after the end credits have rolled....though perhaps it's not for everyone given the negativity, but so what. For me it was worth the chance.
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7/10
Driving out the Demons within
chemingineer6 November 2009
Gigantic is an eccentric film about two oddball families. Brian is bored with his job of selling mattresses and is obsessed with adopting a Chinese baby. Despite having loving parents and supportive brothers he cannot relate to them and lives alone frugally in an apartment. Harriet or Happy who walks into Brian's showroom one day and falls asleep on a mattress has a dysfunctional family with a loud mouth hypochondriac father, an estranged disconnected mother and a self-centered older sister. Brian and Harriet are drawn to each other sexually but cannot connect emotionally and the Chinese baby only makes things worse.

Alternately comical and melancholic this surreal story is about people managing their angst. The exact reasons for Brian's anxiety are not stated but it is possibly because he was brought accidentally into this world by his parents.

There is a bizarre subplot in which a homeless man stalks Brian and keeps attacking him without any purpose. The discerning few can easily see this as a subtext for the demons of self-doubt tormenting Brian's mind. For others it could be an annoying red herring.

It is a film that will make you feel good if you have cracked the subplot.
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Unknowns, Edges, Dreams
tedg9 August 2010
The fashionable movies these days rely on finding an edge in convention and dangling a foot in the unknown waters on the other side. Wes Anderson and Jason Reitman and Judd Apatow are practitioners of this dynamic. The strategy is plain, with the skill coming from the balancing act.

So far, those three have done nothing but take a stable genre and story form and walk it to its edge. There is amusement along the way. I like these. But they don't go deep. They are afraid to hurt. We've had a few years of this now and already the technique has become the default in the least valuable of films: romantic comedies.

What we need is someone who knows how to find that edge and go to it. Someone who doesn't just dip a toe, but who jumps back and forth fearlessly carrying back insight. We need more Igby from the other side, but brought back.

This young filmmaker is just what I hoped for. The filmmaking is assured. The arcs are broken as intended. It suitably confuses the newspaper critics. It hurts in places.

I won't fall into the trap of summarizing what is shown, because what matters is what is not shown. Its the empty spaces in the narrative.

Why is someone familiar beating up our hero? Who is this endearing, broken soul that Zooey plays? What role does that gay guy play, the guy we meet at the beginning and never see again? What are those lines that seduce, are never said, but are remarked on as if they need not be?

There is a fold here: the sister runs a TeeVee shopping show; Zooey's character helps in an unknown way. In keeping with the gaps, we never know where the fold goes. There is a device from a standard romantic comedy: having a child. It happens but we have no idea how to register it against out romcom templates.

Some may think these are signs of a broken movie or an immature writer-director. They seem to me to be effective, deliberately engineered gaps that define an unknown, moving edge we are taken to and baptized in the open ignorance we bring.

Zooey really does understand what is going on. She's the perfect actor for this experiment.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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7/10
All had no reason
mvpetri2 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
It isn't a good movie. Paul Dano is too boring in Gigantic. Zooey is Zooey. I wonder if she is exactly the same in real life. In all movies of her that I saw she was like all the other. Fortunely I like her a lot but if I didn't I wouldn't have guts to see any other movies with her.

I started to see this movie only to see Zoey and, sadly, I finished by the same reason. The movie has no motivation. She said she loves he, but I can not imagine how. His character is boring. Both do nothing to know each other. After, she missed a dinner and everything collapsed.

A bunch of things was forgotten too. The research and the hot blonde, for example. An homeless try to kick his ass out. Seemingly with no reason at all.

Well, that is how I define this movie. Nothing has a reason. I don't know what was in the director's mind, what the writer was thinking when made this script, but they thought we could find out. Well, I can't. Like me, watch if you don't have any plans at 4a.m. and like Zooey Deschannel

For now, I'm sorry about my bad English.
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9/10
Fresh and entertaining
lhendr200923 March 2009
Caught a screening of this film and really enjoyed it. It has a very interesting and inventive plot as well as incredibly smart and witty writing.

Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel's chemistry is undeniable. A movie like this is so refreshing to see, especially in this era of remakes and repeats.

I highly recommend this movie and hope to see more success from Matt Aselton. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Thanks!

Lindsey
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8/10
Quirky Is As Quirky Does
druid333-23 May 2009
'Gigantic' is the debut film from writer/director,Mark Aselton (a name to look out for in the future). It concerns a mattress salesman (played by Paul Dano,from 'There Will Be Blood','Little Miss Sunshine',and others)who receives an odd customer (John Goodman),who's daughter (Zooey Deschanel)falls asleep on one of the beds in the show room. An odd relationship develops between the two. There are some other elements that makes this for a flawed,but funny (and fun)evening at the cinema (a psychotic homeless man stalks our protagonist,an adoption of an Asian baby looms in the background,as well as a hunt for wild mushrooms on (ironically) sacred mushrooms for good measure ,too). Other familiar faces turn up in this film as well,for good turn (Ed Asner,Jane Alexander,etc.). A film that is worth seeking out. Rated 'R'by the MPAA,this film contains salty language,sexual situations,drug usage & some violence. Leave the little ones home.
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4/10
Too much left unanswered
doug-69715 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Gigantic has a few funny moments and good performances by John Goodman, Ed Asner and Zooey Deschanel is attractive and has the requisite quirkiness, but I also found the main character Brian to be incredibly dull and the weak link in this film.

I'm also never impressed by the use of the "f-word" or for that matter the use of the "n-word" (even when it's said by a black person) when it feels that it's only being used for a cheap shock laugh.

There are also too many questions left unanswered in this film. What was the stalker all about? What does the title of the film mean? But, most of all, the main character, Brian, wanted to adopt a Chinese baby since he was eight? Why? Perhaps, we may assume there was some male maternal instinct at work here. But why Chinese???
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1/10
Gigantic Flop
imothers28 March 2010
I can't really say this movie has anything to recommend it as entertainment. There isn't a cohesive plot - there are a lot of scenes that are just "there" but you wonder why? The characters are all very flat - little to no development. I couldn't get interested in any of them, which is unusual. There was no comedy and no romance in this movie for me. There isn't really any compelling action, and most of the camera work is ordinary - nothing interesting there to hold your attention. Sometimes a movie like this is saved by brilliant dialogue and scriptwriting - not this one, the script is average and the delivery flat. No one seems to care very much. There are a couple of scenes with violence, which to our family were disturbingly gratuitous - the violence just happened without any reason, or explanation afterwards. The consequences of the violence seemed way too small considering what was depicted as happening, which was also disturbing.
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6/10
Faux-Indie flick seemingly devoid of any individualistic messages!
Kevin Hudson5 July 2013
This decent faux-indie film is ruined by pro-capitalist & anti-poor propaganda. Some of which is implicit (even subliminal) & some of which is overtly explicit.

Firstly, one message of this film seems to be that capitalism is good, in fact it gets you laid. Secondly, another message is that homeless & working people are bad, they attack you in the street for no reason! This is evidenced in one scene where the guy says to the other that he got laid with a girl who's father bought a mattress from him & the other guy's reply is "God bless capitalism". To me, a blatant association of our elitist political system with sex.

At certain points in the film the lead is attacked by someone whom he describes as a homeless guy, but is at times dressed as a worker. Whether the guy is a figment of the lead's imagination or not, the negative subliminal association of poor/working person & uninitiated violence is made.

Later, they crack open a piñata & he says he has them made to look like dictators. Now it's very easy to point at the crimes of others. Why didn't he have some evil American politicians made like Nixon or Kissinger (who helped killed 5 million+ in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos) or some figures of British Imperialism (who killed just as many as Stalin)? No, only non-capitalist murderers are worthy of our attention & that is the type of blatant propaganda you expect from Hollywood Blockbusters.

Where is the anti-consumerist, anti-materialist, anti-elitist & anti-status quo message I expect from productions with a supposedly individualistic non-conformist perspective?
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4/10
interesting at least
sfiver5 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Supporting cast makes this film interesting. John Goodman, Ed Asner and (all to briefly) Jane Alexander. Just in case you've not read the other reviewers: Unconventional mattress salesman meets rich girl. Mattress salesman wants Chinese baby to fulfill his life. Rich girl wants ... ? These two characters fall into love as they attempt to understand it. The End. Again, John Goodman as the mafia-type father of Happy, played by Zooey Deschanel, adds luster and laughs. Asner is the 80-year old dad of mattress salesman Brian, played by Paul Dano. Unconventional character even more so then his son. Asner has fun with the role. Ms. Alexander is the only near-normal, mother-like character as Brian's mother. She seems to be the only character who understands what's happening. This is not some offbeat film. It has excellent production values, editing, music, photography, etc. Equally important, it keeps your attention on various levels. Sub-plots so-to-speak. But, no spoilers here. The story is offbeat. Furthermore, while Mr. Dano carries his "offbeat" role as the uncanny, maternal 20-something with sympathetic depth, Ms. Deschannel does not connect with her character at all. She certainly has promise and frankly I look forward to seeing her in other roles. Unfortunately, she is only "eye-candy" and to some extent reduces the entire production. The film is still worthwhile, but only a 4/10 for supporting cast and story.
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8/10
The unexpected and the unexplained in our lives
Gabriela22 August 2009
This is an hour and a half of reality. If you are looking for some movie to make you forget about the gray life and all of its happenings, don't watch Gigantic. If you want to see how normal people react in extraordinary situations, without any imaginative and "hoolywoodistic" improvements, go ahead and watch. Very few people understand the poetry of Gigantic. Even fewer understand why the movie is called this way. And the explanation is almost obvious: because what's happening to Brian is gigantic and what's happening to Happy is even more gigantic.

Brian and Happy don't react extraordinary, cinematographically, in front of these gigantic situations, but they do what all of us would have probably done. This is why Gigantic is a good movie. Some have criticized the fact that Gigantic was put in romantic comedies genre. I have to disagree. Just because it doesn't have a cinematographic touch, it doesn't mean Gigantic is not funny or romantic. It's true, the jokes are Britishlike.

But the romance is sparkling. Brian and Happy are obviously in love from the first time they meet. And they share some pretty moments together. The homeless guy represents the unexplained in our lives. He lives only in Brian's head, or maybe he doesn't. Just like all the things we can't explain. Gigantic is not a beautiful movie. But it definitely is a good movie.
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10/10
I Love This Movie!
www.ramascreen.com28 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I love GIGANTIC, it's a dramedy that will win your heart. From the acting to the story, from the cast to every line that that they say, it's smartass yet funny, it's blunt yet gentle, this is Indie movie at its best. Writer/Director Matt Aselton has… come up with unique, memorable characters though as weird and messed up as they are, you wouldn't mind being part of the family.

The writing is what fascinates me about this movie. Matt Aselton and fellow scribe Adam Nagata have a great sense of humor, the comedy injected into this drama hits every target dead on. If you're not laughing at some of the scenes, then there's definitely something wrong with you, I'm just going to throw it out there. It's got some random acts that happen for no reason and they just crack me up That said, GIGANTIC also has rich characters that stem from America's individuality and the freedom to choose whatever it is that you want to be and that in itself can bring so much pressure on one person. It is a love story but it's not too lovy dubby that you'll hate it, and it's not trying too hard to be your average chick flick either because the complication, anxiety, and fear that ensues when the two main characters start to have feeling for each other are the kinds that we can relate to, the kinds that we, the audience, had experienced before at one point or another. I believe in greatness in simplicity and GIGANTIC is exactly that.

Paul Dano who floored me in Little Miss Sunshine, I also thought he should've been nominated for There Will Be Blood, plays the character Brian in GIGANTIC and Paul proves to us again that he's a young but powerful force to be reckon with. There's a certain calmness to his performance but he can also deliver a certain commanding stubbornness and he does it just as good as any experienced actor out there which makes him capable of sharing screen time with veterans like John Goodman and Ed Asner and not drowning in their shadows. The cute Zooey who somehow has the ability to put your guard down when you're at her presence, plays the quirky Happy who's not sure what she wants to do with her life, causing her to be unsure either about letting Paul Dano be a part of her life. What a fantastic cast. John Godman and the legendary Ed Asner both play supportive fathers but each of them had a their own way of showing it. The great Jane Alexander has one particular excellent scene with Zooey, a self-realization scene that basically touches the whole point of the story, it was brief but surprisingly heartfelt. By the way, there's a special appearance by a Chinese baby that will absolutely get even the manliest guys to say 'Aww!'

This is not a movie about dysfunctional family but the family's not perfect either. I think it's a feel good movie aimed to let the audience know that you can still pursuit your plans and fall in love at the same time. Letting someone in doesn't mean you have to disregard those who already care about you and it's never too late to make thing right. GIGANTIC may be Matt Aselton's first feature film but it's good enough to make me a fan and I'm looking forward to his upcoming projects.

--Rama's SCREEN--
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6/10
Enjoyed the characters (only)
tacopony-114 September 2009
I really enjoyed the setting and the characters played by Goodman, Deschanel, Dano, and the entire supporting cast.

But many parts of the plot were not believable, or even nonsensical.

The film resorts to passé plots (quiet boy meets sexy rich girl), but where it is inventive, it's inexplicable (the stalker, the lifelong interest to adopt, ...).

Goodman is a favorite of mine anyway, and his character here serves to balance the meekness of the other leads.

It was worth my time, however if it wasn't able to get Goodman or the other leads, it would have been a forgettable film.

TP in Texas
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2/10
Huh?
tina-1758 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Huh! That's what I am about to say about this film... that's what it left me asking. What just happened here?? So it's this guy who is single, 28, totally boring and wants to adopt a Chinese baby... first of all, it is not realistic at all. The guy who wrote, clearly, hasn't read anything about how Chinese adoptions work which for those of us who are actually trying to do just that, it is insulting to say the least. "I made the list" he proclaims and he will travel to Hong Kong (!? seriously!?) to the baby who he refers to as "it" throughout the film. There is no referral, nothing about this situation is realistic! The writer "imagines" how it is like and he has a go at it without any research at all on the subject. Then the guy gets handed a one year old out the blue and wham, he is a dad. Lots of gaps there, half the characters are not even developed, there is this weird hobo guy who shoots and beats up the star but then it turns out it was an imaginary character (then who the heck shot him and you are even showing the bullet which the star pulls out of his leg on his own!! seriously?!)

Boring film that didn't really make any sense at all. Asner and Goodman were the only good performances. This film simply does make any sense! There is no beginning no middle and no end, no explanations... and Dalon is like a statue.. he is not acting... he has no facial expressions!!! No emotion, no nothing!! Even his speech pattern is slow and boring... Don't waste your time and money on this... go see a real film!
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7/10
The Rich Depression
meccasauga2 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This film brings me into the meanderings of an affluent New York social sail. A place where the cinematiques are well alligned, and the wind blows straight up your nose. If only slick-worries were that of selling fourteen-thousand dollar Swedish beds, and adopting withdrawn Chinese daughters; Brian(Paul Dano) falls into a cloud-like spontaneous sexing of Harriet(Zooey Deschanel), after he's confronted in the 'straight up' sense.

I enjoyed the films' great screen-scapes and script. Every cast member acts well. I was left with an appreciation for the artistic value, and a hate, for the social caste which this movie represents. I guess i'm just jealous.
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1/10
Slightly more enjoyable than a pap smear
rooprect11 January 2012
This is the kind of movie that makes you want to grab the first emo kid you see on the street and forcibly give him a perm.

Take all the indie movies ever made. Take the worst scene from each one. Slap them all together, and there you have "Gigantic". It suffers from all the clichés that make people hate indie films: mumbling characters that irritate the crap out of you, no script to speak of, jokes where the audience is evidently supposed to imagine the punchline, and so much cynicism you wonder why the writer didn't just kill himself when he was 16.

Throw in a bunch of homophobic wisecracks, anti-Semitic slurs, racial slurs of all shapes & sizes, and an opening scene of animal cruelty (American Humane did not monitor this film), and here you have a bona fide painful experience.

I think I laughed more watching "Platoon" than I did watching this dud of a movie.

Please don't think all indie films are like this. If you want to see a hilarious non-Hollywood rom-com, look for a film called "Buffalo 66" with Christina Ricci and Vincent Gallo. For Zooey fans of course there's "(500) Days of Summer". Skip this and watch something, anything, else.
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4/10
Trying way too hard to be cool
Harperian20 November 2010
I am in to quirky comedies, but this one is beyond lame. I love Zooey, but it was painful watching her and Paul Dano play their typical personalities in this wannabe symbolic bullsh!t quirky comedy. I was very disappointed and found myself washing dishes and smoking a cigarette while my girlfriend hung in there. Zooey's quirky personality is played out in this movie, and Paul Dano is a horrible casting role for the protagonist, if you can call him that. I hate to sound so down on a risky film, because I appreciate them going outside the box, but this is so beyond pandering to the indie crowd it makes me sick. I can give it a four out of ten being completely honest. There are some smart parts in this movie, but that's not enough to save it from a sorry plot and poor casting.
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5/10
Mediocre and not at all profound
gelman@attglobal.net24 November 2009
Some viewers have over-interpreted this profoundly mediocre film made somewhat more tolerable by the presence of Zooey Deschanel, Ed Asner,John Goodman and Jane Alexander. Why Paul Dano is credited as the star of this film is beyond me. His character is little more than a rimless cipher and the best one can say is that his acting is suited to the character. Asner and Goodman are wealthy eccentrics -- Asner as the elder father of Dano's 29-year-old character and two much older sons (Alexander as his wife) and Goodman as the nut-job, braggart father of Deschanel's lonely, girlish love interest. Asner and Goodman masticate the scenery in high fashion, Deschanel is, as usual, strangely charming and Alexander has one crucial scene where she reassures Zooey's character that she can make it with Dano's character and the Chinese child he has just adopted.

There's an irrelevant subplot about a maniacal homeless man that keeps assaulting Dano without provocation, which is where the over- interpretation creeps. I think the homeless man is imaginary, a figment of the imagination, signifying the emotional crises that Dano's character might suffer if he had any solidity as a character. If Dano has any acting talent, he must be congratulated on having hidden it completely.
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