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User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
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  1. Jul 5, 2013
    6
    The indie approach to love stories differs quite markedly from that of mainstream Hollywood. The Giant Mechanical Man fits comfortably into this tradition, its lack of grandeur adding to its charm, but at times it's a flick that feels a little too contrived to become something you'll want to revisit.

    The plot centres on a street performer (Chris Messina's Tim) and his struggles to fit
    The indie approach to love stories differs quite markedly from that of mainstream Hollywood. The Giant Mechanical Man fits comfortably into this tradition, its lack of grandeur adding to its charm, but at times it's a flick that feels a little too contrived to become something you'll want to revisit.

    The plot centres on a street performer (Chris Messina's Tim) and his struggles to fit in with the expectations of society at large, as well as to make ends meet. His lack of desire to take part in conventional culture defines the character and leads to a variety of problems in his relationships, largely due to drastically differing views on the world from those around him. His approach to life is fairly philosophical, believing that if he can brighten even one person's day on their way to work, it will make everything worthwhile. The character works well for the most part, but can come off as a stereotypical arty type in some of his rhetoric, which some may find a little grating.

    The other side of the narrative takes Jenna Fischer's Janice as its focus. She has little idea what she wants from life and has difficulty holding down the succession of menial jobs that she takes on to pay the rent. She is the archetypal daydreamer, her head in the clouds more frequently than on solid ground. Her awkwardness in social situations does a lot to make the character likeable, the urge to will her to speak up for herself overwhelming.

    The balance between comedy and drama in the film is judged well. There's adequate humour to raise a smile on more than one occasion and the drama plays very successfully for the most part. However, the scenes intended to be the most intense sometimes don't work quite as well as they should, leaving some of the more pivotal moments feeling a little flat. The movie's charm does a lot to make up for this, but there are points at which it is slightly overcooked and what atmosphere there was is crushed under the weight of borderline sickly sweetness.

    The biggest problem here lies in the slightly ridiculous coincidences that lead to the two protagonists getting to know each other. The aim may perhaps have been to demonstrate how predestined to be together they really are, but there's an uncomfortably artificial feel that comes along with this and it detracts more than a little from the picture as a whole.
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  2. Apr 29, 2012
    7
    I think anyone who doesn't mind a slower, emotionally awkward film would enjoy this, but if you are looking for a mainstream happy-romantic comedy, it definitely isn't for you.
Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Apr 27, 2012
    50
    Pleasantly charming but instantly forgettable.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 26, 2012
    60
    Grace, especially, gives a turn that could be a twerpy cousin to Tom Cruise's character in "Magnolia"; Fischer's dead-eyed responses to this Mensa-member/player who think he's book jacket-hot are priceless.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Apr 26, 2012
    70
    Helmer-writer Lee Kirk's deliberately offbeat romance, a vehicle for wife Fischer, will undoubtedly win friends through its cockeyed-optimistic view of romance.