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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Giant Mechanical Man - Jenna Fischer Chris Messina

This is a heck of a little film. Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Chris Messina (Julia and Julia / Argo) play Janice and Tim. Both are in their thirties and, you know the saying, "Don't know what they want to do when they grow up."

On the surface "The Giant Mechanical Man" is just another girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy back again movie. Subtly, though, this flick is so much more. While Tim and Janice do not have a real career plan for the future but they aren't perpetually living in their parents basement either. Both putter around underemployed in life with jobs that pay the bills. They don't seemed proud of their underemployment but neither seem to be the desperate for answers or despair over this sort of existentialist lifestyle either. When not working a maintenance job at the zoo, Tim performs as a giant robot on the city streets for tips. His giant mechanical man routine is painfullydisciplined and in some ways fascinating to watch. Symbolic too I suppose as don't we all kind of go through life as robots from time to time?

Tim and Janice are likable, unassuming, sympathetic and are performed very well by Fischer and Messina. The supporting cast (Toffer Grace, Malin Ackerman and Rich Sommer) come off as quirky at times but I liked this sort of direction. By contrast their quirkiness makes Tim and Janice come across as more earnest and sympathetic without jamming this trait down the audiences throat. Supporting characters initially seem a little contrived but as the film progesses they begin to show real feelings and the ability to reason in a very refreshing way.

This film runs at a fairly slow pace but I like how it took its time.

This is a chick flick of sorts that male indie film fans will also enjoy.

Check it out.

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