Monday, February 11, 2013

Movie Review: The Giant Mechanical Man (2012)

The Giant Mechanical Man movie posterThe Giant Mechanical Man (2012) - Written and Directed by Lee Kirk. Starring Jenna Fischer, Chris Messina, Topher Grace, Malin Akerman, Rich Sommer, Bob Odenkirk, Lee Kirk.

By Kenny Howell

Sometimes you just need to see pleasant movies about nice people.

The Giant Mechanical Man, an indie that should have had a bigger audience than it got, is one of those movies.

It follows the story of Janice and Tim (Jenna Fischer and Chris Messina), who are just two good people, lost, trying to figure out their life. They both happen to get a menial job at a zoo (with probably the nicest boss in the history of the world). Come to find out they both are heading down the same unsure direction in life, and need someone to help them there.

The title refers to Messina's street performer character, in which he paints himself like a robot and walks on stilts. This is unbeknownst to Janice, who finds some inspiration in the mechanical man when she sees him interviewed on TV one day.

Fischer (A Little Help) and Messina (Ruby Sparks) are perfect for these parts because they both seem so down to Earth, and can bring out vulnerability in their characters without over doing it. Supporting actors, like Topher Grace (The Big Wedding), play off them well, and create the crazy world around them that they don't fit into. Grace is specifically, surprisingly good, as a douchey self help author that thinks he has everything figured out, but is just terrible. Malin Akerman (Cottage Country) plays the bitchy sister that pushes Janice to be more like what her idea of happiness is, something she doesn't want.

This is one of those movies that isn't going to blow you away, but when someone brings it up in conversation, you will remember it fondly with a smile because it's just so, well...nice.

Rating: ***1/2

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