Tuesday, July 21, 2015

big significant things (2014)

Craig is on a tour of all the southern American tourist traps (the film's title is a reference to things like the World’s Largest Cedar Bucket which opens the film). As far as most of the world knows Craig's still at work. His girlfriend has no idea that he is on this escape from reality- which is actually an attempt to put off growing up and getting married to his lady. As time goes on and Craig drifts around the country he begins to question who he is and who he thought he was.

This is an examination of that moment when we stand on the edge of becoming a real adult and moving away from childish things. It’s a moment that comes to us all at different times, and it’s one that we all face differently. Some of us meet it head on, others of us cross the thresh hold unaware and some of us are like Craig, know exactly where we are standing and what that next step means. Some of us are like Craig and we’ll dance around as long as we can until we find we’ve stumbled over the line and grown up despite our best efforts not to.

I really like this film a great deal. It’s a film that manages to seriously examine all of the questions about growing up and being an adult without losing it sense of life. The dance that Craig performs and the twist and turns in his head and heart is the sort of battle many of us have gone through. I can see myself in some of the things that our hero goes through.

At the same time the character of Craig is a problem. As real as his internal battle is, I never completely found him relatable. There is something about him that kept him at arm’s length from me. Intellectually I related to him and his plight (much more than I’d care to admit) but at the same time there is something about Craig that keeps him distant. He’s a bit of a nebbish (and I grew weary of his listening to talk radio) and I didn’t wholly like him. I suspect that’s the point, until the end he is kind of a jerk. It’s not a fatal flaw, but it is something that kept me from falling madly and passionately in love with it.

I have to say that in its way, despite the reservations this is a must see. This film is director Bryan Reisberg first time out. It’s a film that doesn’t feel like a first film. There isn’t the sense that you get with many first films where the director wants to show off and get noticed. Here Reisberg seems more interested in telling a good story…and most interestingly doing it with characters that aren’t completely likable. I may not have love Craig, but I admire the fact that Reisberg was confident enough in what he was doing to give us a character warts and all. Many young filmmakers will simply try to please everyone with the result they end up pleasing no one.

Bryan Reisberg is one to watch..

BIG SIGNIFICANT THINGS opens Friday in theaters and VOD

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