My Giant is a 1998 American comedy film directed by Michael Lehmann. The film stars Billy Crystal, who also produced and co-wrote the story for the film, and Romanian-born NBA player Gheorghe Mureșan in his only film appearance. David Seltzer's script was inspired by Crystal's friendship with professional wrestler André the Giant, whom he had met during the filming of The Princess Bride.
theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Lehmann|
|Produced by||Billy Crystal|
|Written by||David Seltzer|
|Music by||Marc Shaiman|
|Edited by||Stephen Semel|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|April 10, 1998 (US)|
February 12, 1999 (UK)
Talent agent and huckster Sammy Kamin travels to Romania on business after splitting up with his wife. After his young client fires him, Sammy crashes his car and is rescued, while unconscious, by an enormous Romanian man named Max who is close to 8 feet tall.
Sammy thinks the rescuer is God, as he can only see Max's giant hands. When Sammy wakes up, he thinks he is in Heaven. But he is confused to find a statue of Jesus next to his bed, as he was raised Jewish. He then realizes Max has brought him to a monastery, where he was raised after being given up for adoption by his parents because of his height.
Once he wakes up and interacts with Max, he sees potential stardom in him. Sammy attempts to broker his introduction into the movies. In doing so, he exploits Max' desire to visit a long-lost paramour, Lilliana, in Gallup, New Mexico. First, Max obtains the role of a villain in a movie, but he is so drunk that he vomits on the protagonist (Sammy's former client). However, the scene is included in the movie.
One day, Sammy talks to Steven Seagal about including Max as a villain in one of his movies, convincing him that he needs a different kind of villain. At first Seagal rejects him because there was another actor who would take that role, but he changes his opinion after listening to an extract of a Shakespearean play done by Max.
Suddenly, after some medical exams, Max is diagnosed with heart disease which cannot be treated with a transplant because his heart is so big. Sammy decides to find Lilliana, and tries to convince her to meet Max again, but she rejects the invitation. Sammy then convinces his wife to take the role of Lilliana and after some words, Max asks her for a kiss.
Afterwards, Sammy and his wife decide to get back together again, after realizing that they were truly in love and that their son needed them.
Sammy eventually decides to return Max home to Romania. Max refuses to go back, but finally he enters his old house, and meets his parents again. Sammy ends up watching Max's first filmed scene in a cinema with his family. Max dies shortly after, because of his heart, but he changed many people's lives forever.
- Billy Crystal as Sammy Kamin
- Gheorghe Mureșan as Maximus "Max" Sanferescu
- Kathleen Quinlan as Serena Kamin
- Joanna Pacuła as Lillianna Otarro
- Zane Carney as Nick Kamin
- Dan Castellaneta as Partlow
- Steven Seagal as himself
- Doris Roberts as Rose Kaminski
- Jere Burns as Weller, the Movie Director
- Raymond O'Connor as Eddie
- Rider Strong as Justin Allen
The film was not a box office success, grossing a little over $8 million domestically, far less than its $20 million budget.
The film gained mostly negative reviews. Roger Ebert stated: "The movie, which could have been a funny send-up of Hollywood talent requirements, gets distracted by subplots [that] after its promising start, My Giant isn't a comedy about an agent and a giant, so much as the heartwarming tale of a guy who learns to be a better family man."
CNN's Paul Tatara stated: "Crystal is Crystal throughout, and I still like him for it. Muresan, on the other hand, is sweet but, shall we say, a limited performer. He also speaks as if he's storing potatoes in his cheeks for the oncoming Romanian winter. He's not any good, but, then again, Harrison Ford would be hard pressed to pretend that he's 7-foot-7. "My Giant" would probably play better to children. There's an itty-bitty bit of swearing. Beware of sugar comas."
The review of the film's original VHS release from Entertainment Weekly was one of its few genuine praises, from critic David Everitt, describing the tape as "a watchable rental. Crystal's wisenheimer Long Island charm wears well, and Muresan, the 7-foot-7 Washington Wizards center, is surprisingly endearing, especially when you can understand what he's saying. Watch for Steven Seagal's amusing cameo."
Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader reviewed the film positively and stated "My Giant is exciting partly because it dares to get so close to [its] idea, even though it then pulls back."
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 19% based on reviews from 27 critics.
- "My Giant". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
- "'City of Angels' Takes Wing in Heavenly Opening Weekend - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. 13 April 1998. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Welkos, Robert W. (14 April 1998). "Top of the World for Warner Bros. - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Roger Ebert. "My Giant - Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- "CNN - Review: 'My Giant' not good at tall - April 16, 1998". CNN. 16 April 1998. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- David Everitt (24 September 1998). "My Giant". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- Alspector, Lisa (9 April 1998). "Too Big to Ignore | Movie Review". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "My Giant". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 4 March 2018.