The Giant Mechanical Man

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The Giant Mechanical Man
Directed by Lee Kirk
Tribeca Film
Opens April 27, Village East
Lee Kirk’s The Giant Mechanical Man wants to be both a wry, intelligent romantic comedy and a softly satiric look at the ways sensitive types struggle in a world where brutal materialism infects even our most intimate relationships. Janice (Jenna Fischer) is a drifting dreamer, working crappy temp jobs until her flightiness finally gets her fired. Tim (Chris Messina) is the mechanical man of the title, a sort of mime/performance artist who paints himself silver, straps on stilts, and sets up in different public locations every day, hoping to remind the dreamers in our midst that they are not alone or crazy. The two of them wind up working menial jobs in the local zoo (a heavy handed metaphor; our heroic duo, like the animals, are beautiful creatures unfairly caged) where they of course connect. Messina (a wonderful, underrated actor) is fine here, but his character initially oozes the kind of grating moral superiority of so many struggling artist types. Tim eventually evolves out of smugness, but unfortunately, the film merely trades it for sappiness. Fischer, meanwhile, imbues Janice with a wounded soulfulness that cuts right through the clichés. The less said about a hideously wigged Topher Grace as a smarmy self-help author, the better.
 
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4 comments
darci.dylan
darci.dylan

Most of these indie romantic comedies are simply awful exploitation films, lacking strong characters, and worst of all, usually have terrible chemistry between the two leads. To that end, Jenna Fischer and Chris Messina exude a natural chemistry that never seems too forced or awkward, despite both of their characters being kind of awkward losers.From the moment they meet (in a great scene which was also made better by the use of "Our Bleeding Hearts" by Great Northern) Fischer and Messina's characters play so well off each other that I was able to forgive this movie for having a few common problems with this genre (such as Topher Grace's 'rival' character who is really just a cartoon pardoy). I'll give this a solid 7/10.

Skippy
Skippy

A nice concept, clumsily written, that succeeds ONLY because of the engaging on-screen personalities of Jenna Fischer and Chris Messina. It was fun to see Mad Man's Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) in a supporting role. A very kewl indie soundtrack succeeds where the plot fails. Any film that rolls credits over Pinbacks - Non Photo Blue is OK with me.

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In automobiles, a mechanical fan provides engine cooling and prevents the engine from overheating by blowing or sucking air through a coolant-filled radiator. It can be driven with a belt and pulley off the engine's crankshaft or an electric fan switched on or off by a thermostatic switch.

Cary Bertoncini
Cary Bertoncini

It was better than the review implies--but it's not really a movie created for people who need to be impressed by everything. Like life and love, you get back what you have to contribute.

 

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