Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Giant Mechanical Man: Movie Review

A quirky, indie romantic comedy with just enough charm.
“The Giant Mechanical Man” is for those who feel lost in life. Janice (Jenna Fischer) can’t hold down a job, has no place to live, and has only one person to turn to: her sister Jill (Malin Akerman). She wishes she didn’t have to turn to her. Janice wants something more in her life; she doesn’t know what, but she knows it’s not what Jill envisions for her. 2012

Directed by: Lee Kirk

Screenplay by: Lee Kirk

Starring: Jenna Fischer, Chris Messina

She doesn’t really understand why she feels lost. All she really wants to know is if other people feel the same way she does. And then she sees the giant mechanical man. He’s a silver-painted street performer and wants to help people feel less alone in this lonely world. But not surprisingly a street performer who doesn't actually do anything isn't a high paying job. And unfortunately for our other lonely character, Tim (Chris Messina), it doesn’t leave him with as much of a sense of purpose as he had hoped. He doesn’t immediately see what the giant mechanical man means to Janice.

From left to right: Janice (Jenna Fischer), Tim (Chris Messina).
Photos courtesy of Mongrel Media.
The loneliness of the main characters and the emptiness they feel in their lives is accentuated in this movie, and considering that it's a light romantic comedy, that sense of depression and bleakness doesn't go down very easy.

“The Giant Mechanical Man” is ultimately an indie romantic comedy, so eventually Janice and Tim meet and fall in love and exchange dialogue about their quirky characteristics. And they are perfect for each other. There are a number of obstacles thrown in their way, namely Janice’s sister's attempt to hook her up with motivational speaker, Doug (Topher Grace). Grace is pretty funny in this role; Doug is as egotistical as you would expect him to be but with just enough charm that you question if maybe Janice could fall for him.

Messina was the highlight; a very understated performance where the comedy was subtle and the “perfection” of his character wasn’t thrown in your face. Fischer is very cute as the quirky girl, but a little light-weight on the comedy side to headline her own romantic comedy. But for fans of the genre that doesn’t distract at all from their relationship. The idiosyncratic dialogue works well enough even if some of the quirky situational jokes fall flat. It also drags at times but that’s only because we’re hoping for Tim and Janice to fall in love sooner rather than later.