The love story is simple. A cute girl whose familial affluence has granted her unparalleled quirkiness gets paired with a lonely bed-head who works at a mattress store in the new indie comedy, Gigantic, directed by Matt Aselton.
Brian Weathersby (lost puppy Paul Dano) sells mattresses. It’s a comfortable profession for a man who walks through life in constant slumber. It’s as if, long ago, his personality was hit by a small bus – a deafening blow. Everyone else in his life is contrastingly lively and crass. His being the vinegar to their oil makes him the object of all their good graces, the eccentric Zooey Deschanel‘s notwithstanding. She plays Harriet (Happy) Lolly (remember “unparalleled quirkiness?”). The two shuffle awkwardly through their two-piece emotional jigsaw of a relationship.
Everything outside the love story is anything but simple. Happy Lolly has an M1 Abrams for a father (John Goodman). Since he was a child, Brian has wanted to adopt a Chinese baby. And for no reason at all, he is periodically assaulted by a deranged bum (Zach Galifianakis) who says nothing but uses an impressive array of weaponry: lead pipe, tire iron, hunting rifle. Does this put the movie in danger of trying too hard? Yes, a bit.
Thankfully, every scene that John Goodman is in is worth the price of admission. His sarcasm is booming, his wisdom is concise, his back has gone out, and the grandiosity of his personality is only trumped by his scene-stealing size. Echoing his days as the lovable gun-toting, low rolling, Vietnam veteran in the The Big Lebowski, Goodman now plays a weighty anchor in the life of his aimless and spoiled daughter.
Gigantic is a movie for 20 somethings obsessed with quiet men who wear headphones or Zooey Deschanel. That’s simply unavoidable. It’s self-indulgent, leans entirely on character actors and overtly hip settings, and only speaks to a small segment of the population. Although it falls far from redefining anxiety in any kind of Upper West Side way, it does trump most of its peers by tossing in a quick blow or two to the back of the glossier Apatow releases. It’s oddball entertainment for a youth that’s too lazy to revolt.
Gigantic opens Friday April 10 at the Lumiere Theater for one week only. Director/Co-Writer Matt Aselton will be in person Friday, April 10 at 7:00 & 9:40pm.