My Giant

on April 10, 1998 by Lisa Osborne
   "My Giant" has a big heart in more ways than one. The gentle giant in question, Max (played by 7'7" NBA basketball star Gheorghe Muresan), lives quietly in a Romanian monastery until talent agent Sammy (Billy Crystal) crashes into his life. Max, whose two loves are Shakespeare and Lillianna (Joanna Pacula), his childhood sweetheart who moved to New Mexico 22 years ago, seems to be the answer to Sammy's prayers--a likely star with no agent. Sammy's own life is empty; he repeatedly sacrifices his relationship with his wife Serena (Kathleen Quinlan) and son Nick (Zane Carney) for one more shot at the `big time'.
   Sammy, who prides himself on being able "to persuade anyone to do anything," uses the promise of seeing Lillianna to coax Max into starring in his first movie and later to lure him to the U.S. where the sight of him stops pedestrians in their tracks in Chicago and even turns Steven Seagal's head on a movie set in Las Vegas.
   Crystal does a nice job narrating the movie and delivers some great one-liners. Crystal couldn't have done better than choose Romanian-born Muresan to play the title role. Although Muresan had never acted before and didn't speak much English, he fitted naturally into the role and readily portrayed Max's wide range of emotions and great sense of humor. Other highlights include Steven Seagal's parody of himself and Joanna Pacula's demonstration of what a tough city can do to a sweet little girl like Lillianna.
   While the simplistic plot might leave adults unsatisfied, this is a great children's movie. The visual comedy provoked by the disparity in size between Max and Sammy and accentuated by careful camera angles is hilarious. And what child can resist a giant who projectile vomits on cue?!    Starring Billy Crystal, Gheorghe Muresan, Kathleen Quinlan, Joanna Pacula and Zane Carney. Directed by Michael Lehmann. Written by David Seltzer. Produced by Billy Crystal. A Columbia release. Rated PG for language, mild violence and brief crude humor. Running time: 97 min.
Tags: Starring Billy Crystal, Gheorghe Muresan, Kathleen Quinlan, Joanna Pacula, Zane Carney. Directed by Michael Lehmann, Written by David Seltzer, Produced by Billy Crystal, Columbia

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