We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
The posters for "My Giant'' show the 7-foot-7 inch basketball player Gheorghe Muresan holding Billy Crystal (who is at least 2 feet shorter) under his arm. That looks funny. Who could guess it's a heartfelt friendship? We go into the movie and meet Crystal, who plays Sammy, a Hollywood agent visiting the set of his single remaining client, in Romania. He's not having a good day. His wife announces she's leaving him, his client fires him, and then his car swerves into a creek. It looks like he'll drown, until he is saved by two enormous hands.
Regaining consciousness later in a monastery, he discovers that the hands belong to Max (Muresan), a local giant who is the ward of the monks. In the monastery he reads Shakespeare and pines for his lost love, who jilted him and moved to New Mexico. He is a big, sweet guy. Very big. Muresan may not have heard of Roberto Rossellini's belief that everyone has at least one movie performance in him (playing himself), but he illustrates that principle nicely.
Sammy, a desperate hustler, sees Max as his meal ticket out of Romania and back into the business. Promising him an eventual reunion with his lost beloved, he flies the two of them back to America, where the plot grows mired in sentimentality and we gradually realize this is not a comedy after all, but a greeting card crossed with a guide to improved self-esteem.
The movie, which could have been a funny send-up of Hollywood talent requirements, gets distracted by subplots: Can Sammy's marriage be saved? Will his son learn to trust him again? Will that heartless girl in New Mexico give a break to the big lug whose heart she shattered? Why is it that comics are always the biggest pushovers when it comes to sentiment? Do people who are funny have a greater than ordinary need to be loved? Is that why they want to make us laugh in the first place? After its promising start, "My Giant'' isn't a comedy about an agent and a giant, so much as the heartwarming tale of a guy who learns to be a better family man.
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