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Cast: Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel, Edward Asner, John Goodman
Mattress salesman Brian Weathersby (Dano) finds his plan to adopt a Chinese baby augmented by the arrival of a young woman, Happy (Deschanel), who comes into his workplaces, falls asleep on one of the beds, and starts to affect his life upon waking up.
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Gigantic is an indie film that tries too hard to be an indie film. All the characters are eccentric. They live a quirky lifestyle filled with some unspoken void in their life their desperately trying to fill only to discover that the answer to their problems is simply accepting themselves, or other people, or that life is as good as itís going to get. Some epiphany strikes them at the end to make the rather clichťd journey worth it.
Thatís not necessarily a bad formula if done correctly. There are some many romantic comedies that are neither funny nor romantic. But at times you do get a few good ones, and at times you get a few good indie films. But Gigantic is the exception.
Zooey Deschanel who has become an indie darling returns playing her normal quirky odd girl dancing to her own tune. She plays the love interest to the protagonist, Brian; played by Paul Dano from There will be Blood fame. Both actors for one reason and another miss their mark here, and at times feel to self aware that their staring in an indie film.
Paul Dano is abosltuely a bore here. There is nothing likeable about his character. Half the time heís quiet and youíre not exactly sure what heís thinking, or if heís happy or sad. Dano plays a low key guy who may be a little too low key for anyone, even his family.
Zooey plays a more likable character. In many ways itís similar to her later character in 500 Days of Summer, but that was a much better performance. Here she plays Happy, the daughter of the John Goodman character who bought a mattress from Brain. She odd, cute, funny and open to just about anything, and meeting Brian the two strike up a relationship.
Meanwhile, Brian has plenty of issues that he needs to sort through. There is this odd occurrence in which a homeless man continues to follow him which always leads to a violent fight between them. For the most part itís Brian getting beaten.
Thereís something metaphorical about the fight between him and the homeless man, but one that really does make much sense. Also, Brian is in the process of adopting child from China, something heís been planning since he was young and is almost in the process of completing. When Happy finds out, she gets scared about the prospect of settling down, this puts a rift in their relationship.
Zooey Deschanel does a fine job here, but like Paul, she a bit sedated. Itís almost as if any moment the two lead characters are going to break out of their shell and show who they really are. Or maybe they have some built up frustration they need to let lose, but sadly, none of that happens. We only get the plot of Gigantic.