Because of the comedic paradox he finds himself in, Crystal always seems to be working, not just in the traditional idiom of performance, wherein someone plays to the temper of an audience. Crystal has to break a sweat to get a laugh, and he will not stop talking until you laugh. I was surprised that he did not have a personal drummer follow him around to cap off each of his lines. Perhaps he realized that the audience could guess the punch line before the setup had even begun.
The author of this predictable, plodding bore is Brian Seltzer. Seltzer water combines bland flavor with offensive fizz, and that's a fairly solid description of this movie.
After the tasteless introduction to Sam, we find him traveling through Romania to the set of some cheap production of the David-Goliath story. Sam is the agent of David, until he gets to the set and finds the boy-actor has decided to fire him. So Sam goes the next logical step - he discovers Goliath.
Hidden away in a monastery is Max (George Muresan), an eight-foot tall monk who enjoys reciting Shakespeare. Sam gets Max drunk one night and convinces him to pursue a career in movies: It's a classic screen romance. Max agrees only on the stipulation that movie stardom will provide him with a better opportunity to unite with his lost love, who is living in Gallup, N.M.
Muresan, the center for the Washington Wizards, is charming, in a big and gawky way, sweetly likable - and a terrible actor. He exhibits the same facial expressions when he tells Sam he is mad, nauseous, uncertain and sad.
His voice is so warbled and unclear he could as well be reciting Jackie Collins when they say it is "Henry V." But alas, poor Muresan, I knew him to be intended even by the moviemakers not as an actor, just another gimmick.
As Williams' "Flubber" proved forcefully, movies that rely entirely on one simple object for their structural and conceptual integrity do not a handsome motion picture make.
Crystal's venture, while not as aesthetically awful as "Flubber," fares far worse morally because its gimmick is a human being. The way Sam keeps referring to Max as "my giant" as though he were an item of merchandise, both implies Max is a possession, as well as reduces him to his stature. It makes both men seem small.
"My Giant" proceeds very slowly, like a typical modern romantic comedy, with little romance and less comedy.
Sam tries to pawn off on the audience some spiritual enlightenment he received from Max, but it is completely unconvincing. There's little to delight in this movie. Like seltzer water, it's rather innocuous, but ill humored nonetheless.
Jason Myers is a 6-foot-2-inch senior at North Hagerstown High School.