Movie Review: The Giant Mechanical Man

Rating: 3.5 Stars

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief strong language

Cast: Jenna Fischer, Chris Messina, Malin Akerman, Topher Grace


IMDB Synopsis: An offbeat romantic comedy about a silver-painted street performer and the soft spoken zoo worker who falls for him.
I really enjoyed this movie. I’m trying to run through the indie movies currently on Netflix, partly because some of them are great, but you’d never know because they weren’t in theaters, they aren’t well advertised, etc. I generally try to keep up with the better known indie films; I love going to the art house near me and supporting art films. I don’t think The Giant Mechanical Man was in theaters, but it’s definitely worth the watch.

If you’re a fan of The Office, you’ll recognize the leading lady, Jenna Fischer. Fischer does a lovely job playing the 30-something confused, introverted, sweet Janice, who is just trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. The big message of the movie is that not everyone has it all figured out. Janice doesn’t know what kind of job she wants to do, she just knows that she needs something that pays the bills.

Chris Messina plays Tim, a street performer who is discouraged by his friends that his art isn’t an actual job. This storyline was close to my heart, since I am an actress and a writer and the only job I want is a creative, artistic one. You may recognize Chris Messina from Julie and Julia, where he played Julie Powell’s adorable and sweet husband.

Tim and Janice both end up working at a zoo, in jobs they hate, but it brings them together, and a relationship forms. They are both awkward ( not in a really painful way, just in an introverted, endearing way) with other people, but they are adorable with each other. There are bumps along the way, but the relationship is a breath of fresh air in what comes across as a very claustrophobic and discouraging life. Everyone in their lives refuse to listen to what they want (even though they don’t really know themselves), pushing for what they think Tim and Janice want.

Other notable cast members include Malin Akerman and Topher Grace. Akerman plays her usual character, the annoying little sister who “has good intentions” and while I hate that character, she plays it well. Topher Grace plays this really painful, laughable author of a book about having great conversations. Which of course, he is terrible at. Janice’s sister tries to match Janice and Doug (Grace), and it is physically painful, as Janice isn’t confrontational and doesn’t want to be rude.

This is a really cute, quirky movie about discovering who you are and what you want to do. I really enjoyed it, especially with the street performance aspects added in. Highly recommended for fans of quirky romantic comedies.

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