More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “The Giant Mechanical Man,” which, contrary to the title, is not about the acting career of Gheorghe Muresan.
Director: Lee Kirk
Cast: Jenna Fischer, Chris Messina, Topher Grace
Official Synopsis: “Janice (Jenna Fischer) is down on her luck. Out of work and living with her well-intentioned but overbearing sister Jill, Janice is struggling to find her way and build a fulfilling life for herself. When she meets Tim (Chris Messina), a street performer whose unique talents as a ‘living statue’ don’t exactly pay the bills, she recognizes a kindred spirit. As they get to know each other, Janice begins to feel that she has met a like-minded person who could make her happy. But as their connection begins to blossom, Jill’s meddling ways threaten to undermine Janice’s first real shot at love. Quirky and heartwarming, funny and touching, writer/director Lee Kirk’s debut feature is a refreshing look at a woman’s desire to assert her independence and find love on her own terms. Featuring strong performances from a cast that includes Malin Akerman, Topher Grace, Bob Odenkirk, Lucy Punch, and Rich Sommer in addition to Fischer and Messina, the film is a uniquely romantic comedy that examines the lengths we’re willing to go in order to find the perfect partner.”
“There’s something highly endearing about the directness of the movie’s charm.”
“Kirk, who wed Fischer in 2010, perfectly captures her all-thumbs charm, and ubiquitous character actor Messina steps into the lead with ease, showing off some impressive mime skills to boot.”
“Fischer imbues Janice with a wounded soulfulness that cuts right through the clichés.”
“Likeable but underwhelming.”
“Fischer and Messina may make a cute pair, but amidst such contrivances, they’re powerless to make this RomCom seem like anything more than a creaky retread of obvious indie clichés.”
“The Giant Mechanical Man” is now available on VOD and opens in New York City tomorrow.