Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Dano and Deschanel Make Unlikely Mates in Offbeat Romantic Comedy

Zooey Deschanel is a talented actress best known for her delightfully-deadpan delivery in Elf, Failure to Launch and a number of other films. So, a quirky romantic romp like Gigantic would seem superficially like a casting stroke of genius. Unfortunately, the script called for much of the rest of the ensemble to exhibit the same sort of sardonic tone which has become Ms. Deschanel’s trademark. The upshot is that what we have is a self-consciously artsy production which is a little too obvious in its endeavor to scream “Offbeat!”
That being said, the picture still has its moments, even if you never quite consider any of its scenarios plausible. The story revolves around the unlikely relationship which evolves between a Swedish mattress salesman (Paul Dano) and a spoiled-rotten rich girl (Deschanel) with issues. At the point of departure, we find 28 year-old Brian at work in his company’s Brooklyn showroom where he is selling a $14,000 bed to an eccentric art collector (John Goodman).
Later, Lolly sends his daughter, Harriet, over to pick up the mattress, and she proceeds to fall asleep on it for several hours before closing the deal instead. Vigilant Brian, meanwhile, becomes instantly-smitten watching the attractive debutante in repose, and it’s not long thereafter that the two become an item. However, the fly in the cinematic ointment is not just their class differences, but the fact that he is on the waiting list to adopt an Asian baby. What?
Besides that annoying non-sequitur of a sidebar, we have a menagerie of colorful characters with an array of idiosyncrasies to contend with, each more weird than the next. The humor frequently feels forced, so credit Dano and Deschanel for generating sufficient chemistry to make the movie worthwhile despite the oft-distracting Kabuki dances dominating the backdrop.

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for profanity, sexuality and violence.
Running time: 98 minutes
Studio: First Independent Pictures

No comments: