My Giant - *

My Giant

Billy Crystal reappears in yet another high concept comedy. He tries to infuse some life into it, but it gets bogged down with sentimentality and a lack of sophistication.

Sammy (Billy Crystal) is a struggling agent at the end of his ropes. He’s separated from his wife, Serena (Kathleen Quinlan), and down to his last serious client…in a low-budget film shooting in Romania. But in a turn of bad luck, Sammy wrecks his car…only to be mysteriously saved by a giant (Gheorghe Muresan).

But this giant has a heart of gold. He leads a solitary life, helping out the monks at a local monastery. His only longing is for his long lost love, Lilianna (Joanna Pacula), who has since moved to America. Sammy, seeing a golden ticket, convinces Max to become an actor (represented by Sammy, of course), and come back to America.

And so Sam and Max bounce from pathetic job to pathetic job, with Sammy dangling a meeting with Lilianna as a carrot before Max’s nose. But slowly Sammy’s deceptions begin to haunt him. But will he develop a conscience before the innocent Max becomes disillusioned.

The humor in My Giant isn’t the world’s greatest. Mostly, it falls under the category of “boy…he’s so big!”, and that can only go so far, no matter how hard the talent tries. Still, its slightly amusing parts are longed for when the movie gets bogged down in sappy moments.

The film’s best moment (and that’s not saying much) is a bit part by Steven Seagal, playing himself. Between Executive Decision and this, all of Seagal’s best roles have been cameos. Maybe he should consider a change of work: Steven Seagal, the character actor!

Gheorghe Muresan isn’t a natural actor at all, and his thick cotton-mouthed accent certainly doesn’t help. In fact the only thing he adds to the role is his immense stature. Originally, the concept was designed several years ago for Andre the Giant. Andre also had a hefty accent, but he displayed a knack for comedy in The Princess Bride…something Muresan should have studied for some pointers.

Why does Billy Crystal continually get caught in these pathetic comedies? He’s proven that he can be much funnier than these formulaic films allow him to be, and yet, like a glutton for punishment, he keeps coming back. That doesn’t mean we have to.

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