Friday, April 10, 2009
Director/co-writer Matt Aselton's feature debut "Gigantic" (USA 2008 | 98 min.) is a quirky delightful treat for those who are in the mood for some serious giggling.
28-year-old Brian Weathersby (Paul Dano) sells high-end Swedish mattress while pursing his "lifelong" dream — adopting a Chinese baby. After art collector Al Lolly (John Goodman) comes to the store to buy a mattress for his back problem, Brian meets Al's daughter Harriet Lolly, or Happy. While Brian is romantically involved with Happy, he has to constantly fight off a mysterious homeless guy who tries to kill him.
Actually the film's plot is not important. The most entertaining aspect about this film is the witty and humorous dialogue, and these verbal exchanges reveal the fascinating relationships among these characters. This is a film one must watch several times in order to catch all the lines, because many of the conversations will not be heard due to the giggling in the audience, especially both Brian and Happy always speak softly in the film.
The uniformly strong performances from an ensemble cast deliver many funny lines brilliantly. Paul Dano completely vanishes into a quiet Brian from the charismatic priest in "There Will Be Blood." Edward Asner hilariously steals many scenes in the film playing Brian's 80-year-old father.
However, I am not very fond of the subplot of the crazy homeless character — not because of its relevance to the main story, but because he didn't say a word in the film. After all, the dialogue is the gem of the film that is worth of listening and that is funny. Of course not all of the characters have to speak in order to be funny. For example, those masseuses do not say a word either, but how can anybody keep a straight face while watching them working?
FILMMAKER IN PERSON: Director and co-writer Matt Aselton will speak at Lumiere Theatre in San Francisco on Friday, April 10 at 7:00pm & 9:40pm shows, and Saturday, April 11 at Shattuck in Berkeley at 5:00pm & 7:25pm shows.