The Giant Mechanical Man

1 h 29 min2012X-RayPG-13
From Tribeca Film. Charming romantic comedy that proves it only takes one person to make you feel important. Starring Jenna Fischer (The Office), Chris Messina (Vicky Christina Barcelona) and Topher Grace (That 70's Show).
Lee Kirk
Jenna FischerTopher Grace
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Tribeca Film
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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4.4 out of 5 stars

1058 global ratings

  1. 68% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

KatieReviewed in the United States on March 16, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Flat characters
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Chris Messina’s character Tim has no obvious income but lives downtown in a big, beautiful loft which we later learn is rent-controlled. Jenna Fischer’s character Janice is hurt by her sister’s and brother-in-law’s needling, condescending behavior even though Janice would be homeless if not for their life choices. Janice sells concessions at the zoo but notices a major flaw in a zoo exhibit that results in an unbelievable job promotion for her. Zoo planners and employees in real life are not clueless and hoping a minimum-wage worker can point out the flaws in their designs. Tim’s and Janice’s lives depend on other people doing the difficult and boring work, but they hope that with no training, they (Tim and Janice) can have their dream jobs. The script seems to have been written by a self-absorbed teenager.
6 people found this helpful
Justin JeromeReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
"You know what's so great about you? You're real. You don't pretend like you've got it all figured out, like everyone else"
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"You know what's so great about you? You're real. You don't pretend like you've got it all figured out, like everyone else".

I think that quote encapsulates this movie perfectly. What a wonderful gem of a little indie, quirky, offbeat dramedy. I've really gotten into these type of movies the last few years or so, as I've gotten older and realized that, unlike others (or at least unlike they let on), while they seem to have it all figured out, I still seem as lost and searching as ever. And I'm ok with that. So as I've come to know and have survived (so far!) the disappointments of life, these movie plots and characters, of basically good hearted but flawed people looking for meaning, their place in the world, etc and struggling really speaks to me.

I loved both the leads - Tim and Janice - and related to them about equally, as I tend to do, as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), INFP (Meyers-Briggs), introvert, and empath type guy. Tim's desire to follow his own path in life and Janice's shyness and awkwardness around others, as well as her failing to meet societal and familial expectations. I love how they made her the younger sister, too, since all too often the stereotype is the older sibling is the one all "put together" and the younger is the "mess", so I love how that's reversed here (despite Janice being adopted, but still - pretty cool). If only it was as easy standing up to family as it is when Janice does it in the movie, but I still loved that moment and felt so proud of her, realistic or not (the family seems to finally "magically" understand her as soon as she shows some assertiveness - I wish it was that simple in real life, I really do, but alas...).

Verdict: I loved and completely related to the story of 2 social misfits trying to succeed and survive and find their place in an "alpha" world that's sadly all too often about winning, success, competition, and "the bottom line", and too rarely about individuality, being yourself, and following your heart/your own path and having empathy for those of us who are "different" both by choice and because we have no choice (its complicated, haha). My all time favorite dramedy - I honestly can't recommend this enough. Just wish it wasn't unfairly (IMO) billed as a rom-com, since I feel that does the film a great injustice as its so much more than that (nothing against rom-coms!), and speaks to the heart of "the rest of us" who are currently or who have ever felt at least a little bit lost and alienated by life and the modern world. Like Tim, I've tried to follow my own path in life as well (just wish it paid better!) and, if you relate/agree with me at all, you can find me most often these days at twitter dot com/ShyLivesMatter Peace :)
18 people found this helpful
jhannsReviewed in the United States on March 19, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
no life goals? that's ok. if you're ok with that then your goals are good enough
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this movie earned b/t three and four stars from me. there are lots of other great reviews to consider here too

the movie starts slow and if you're reaction is like mine you'll be wondering if you should stop watching and recover your time to do something else. onto the plot...

if you don't know what your goals are in life that is ok. if your life goals turn out to be finding someone special and doing your part fitting into the larger community, and this sufficiently fills you with joy, then your goals are good enough.

once the movie fully develops and finds its groove, you will find yourself in the middle of the lead characters' lives, managing stresses with a sibling relationship, figuring out who the love of your life is, and figuring out what you want out of life. there are no real surprises.

in this movie, when life throws curve balls, curve balls get hit for grand slam home runs. this movie doesn't dwell on either the curve balls or the home runs. just that they all came , and left, with happy endings, unremarkably.

the movie has a happy ending too.
3 people found this helpful
DetectorReviewed in the United States on March 23, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
It's about some really important stuff.
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Best line in the movie, "You see the monkeys do." That really sums it up. By the way, not the same thing exactly, but in the same lane, I always tell people that in some ways dogs are a lot smarter than people. A person can walk into a room that they know intimately, in which a piece of furniture has been moved, and they probably won't notice it for quite some time, and may have to figure out why it doesn't seem right. Dog walks into the same familiar room, and it will immediately sense, probably by smell, that there's been a change, and will go right over and check it out. It senses, recognizes and investigates the change immediately. As for the one visual scene that tells the tale...that would be when Janice tears up watching the mechanical man perform. A highly affecting scene. It's a lovely, small film, fits in your pocket, carry it with you.
One person found this helpful
errin spellingReviewed in the United States on February 2, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
That paint can't be good for you
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He paints his face silver each day and goes out into the world ,and works for tips. Thank goodness his apartment is rent controlled. This is a wonderful happy story, and art film, a love story. You have to like this movie. Most of it takes place at a beautiful zoo, with penguins, lions, and a polar bear. You will want to drink grape juice , while watching.
3 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 28, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
An unexpected delight, superb acting by Jenna Fisher & Chris Messina, well directed.
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Jenna Fisher absolutely brought her character to life. Both leads (Fisher and Messina) played likeable characters. Really well done. Topher Grace, and capable actor, played a doofus. Lucy Punch (the first time I've seen her) and Malin Ackerman did great in their roles. Music was good. Sound was especially well done with clear dialogue recording which appeared to be mostly live takes instead of studio overdubs which rarely match correctly. Everything about the movie from its plot to filming and editing was well done.
3 people found this helpful
PersonwhoreadsReviewed in the United States on February 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
I love this quirky movie.
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It really does just take one person to make you feel seen. I love the positive message of this movie. It falls in line with what I truly believe: you don't have to be what others tell you you are. You just have to find the people who get you in life. Then life is as it should be.
4 people found this helpful
KindleReviewed in the United States on June 12, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
The proper word to describe this film is INSIPID.
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This film has a terrible, lifeless script which often dooms a film from start to finish and this is a prime example. Trite, script, characters and plot. I kept hoping someone would say something valuable but it doesn't happen. Each scene is painfully drawn out as if something of value has taken place but no such luck. And OH SO painfully SLOW. All the characters seem developmentally stunted and not really like adults at all, except for the lead's boss who only has a few lines. The first review you see gives this 5 stars which is bizarre. Even if a movie is not my cup of tea I can tell whether it has quality or not and this one does not. Some so-so films can still be mildly enjoyable but I recommend to skip this one; no point, boring and a waste of precious time.
One person found this helpful
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