Gigantic (2008)

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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?
Paul Dano as Brian Weathersby
Zooey Deschanel as Harriet 'Happy' Lolly
Edward Asner as Mr. Weathersby
Jane Alexander as Mrs. Weathersby
John Goodman as Al Lolly
Sean Dugan as Gary Wynkoop
Brian Avers as Larry Arbogast
Louis Ozawa Changchien as Matsubara
Zach Galifianakis as Homeless Guy
Frank Harts as Kenyatta Folds
Tatsuo Ichikawa as Nagata
Ilana Levine as Ducky Saltinstall
Susan Misner as Melanie Lolly
Kenji as Kanagae (as Kenji Nakano)
Clarke Peters as Roger Stovall
Ian Roberts as John Weathersby
Daniel Stewart Sherman as Kevin Blue
Robert Stanton as James Weathersby
Leven Rambin as Missy Thaxton
Mary Page Keller as Marguerite Lolly
Matt Walton as Conner Williams
Full cast

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If there is a definition of "art house" movies somewhere then "Gigantic" would be on its list of examples. It's off-beat, somber, quirky funny, has some very intense moments, takes you in directions you didn't expect and doesn't feel any need to tie up every loose end. The acting is great; I especially liked a brief but wonderful scene with Jane Alexander. But this movie is hard to recommend for the big screen. It felt more like a rental, a movie to bring home on a rainy day when you're looking for something more intimate and less predictable than the latest action thriller or romantic comedy.


I put the Sunday afternoon stipulation on Gigantic because I feel that an evening viewing would have left me a little flat. However, a Sunday afternoon gives you enough time to stroll around, consider the homeless man to red knight (fisher king) comparison and the surprising ease of a young single man adopting a child when Madonna can't breeze through the process like he did, then move on. I did appreciate the "we're all messed up in our own ways, but love and trust can see us through" message brought about through the innocence of a baby, but that thought only lasted until sundown :)


Gigantic revolves around a childhood wish, 28 year-old Dano has to adopt a baby from China and the impact this wish has on his childish and spur-of-the-moment speaking first girlfriend (Zooey). It is full of bland and monotone dialogue and odd ball characters that, at times, barely fit into the story. As well as confusing randomness that hints more towards an artsy audience and creates holes in the story that never seem to fill up. Homeless Zach Galifianakis, who at the end seems like an imaginary foe, attacks Paul Dano and disappears until a later unexpected time (Why?). I didnt want to skip this movie because ive always been a fan of Zooey Deschanel. Stand-out performance by Goodman, but the movie lacked wholeness. One said "it takes mushrooms to find mushrooms", maybe we needed something in order to find the movie. Decent ending. (C-)

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