Monday, August 31, 2009

Gigantic plug

I want to take just a second to plug a movie I saw that I liked. Lately I've noticed that I don't really like very many movies, and a large part of this is because of the rather silly and plain ways they nearly uniformly treat romance. With few exceptions, a movie's narrative is driven by a man and a woman discovering their love for one another, and also nearly always this requires both of them to mold their behavior better to suit our collective prescriptions for how a couple ought to behave (which is why these stories inevitably end with the beginning: once domesticated, the dissonance between the couple and society at large is resolved). "Gigantic" is something of an exception.

But only something. I will avoid spoilers as best I can, since it's unlikely any of you've seen it. What seems to've captivated me is that although the story is told from the male lead's perspective, he is not the protagonist. It is Zooey Deschanelle's (sp) character who must overcome her hurdle, and while almost no narrative time is spent on her concerns (you only meet four of her acquaintances, as opposed to nine for the man) (I forget the male actor's name, and it's omitted only for this reason)--while almost no narrative time is spent on her, all the dramatic tension, all the dissonance, ultimately is hers to resolve. The rather sneaky way the movie works her into the viewer's focus is quite surprising, when it finally comes to bear, and emotionally quite successful.

One thing that irks me a little--though maybe this too is positive from some perspectives--is how boring the two are as a couple. One gets the impression that the only thing they see in each other is a mutual awkward- and hotness. Maybe this is on purpose, to make them easier to relate to and to allow them more easily to be representative, but the simultaneous effect is irritation. One almost wants them to fail, since seeing them together offers no charm. It nearly says that physical attraction is the only arbiter in mate selection.

But it's a cute little indie film--and I do not generally like independent films any more than dependent films--and worth your two hours. The homeless guy is a fun twist.