We’ve all been at a point where we want to do something with our lives and have an adventure of sorts just to counter the monotony of life, but life is too comfortably linear that most people will overlook the opportunity. One of the bold, independent films of this year’s San Diego Film Festival is Big Significant Things, written and directed by Bryan Reisberg, which deals with a man who feels he might not fit in life’s grand story.
Reisberg’s script is quirky and genuine. At times, it feels a little too subtly awkward for its own good, but it remains interesting throughout its short run time. It happens to be a comfortably paced, character-driven film, and it feels likes it’s been done with the control of a veteran, even though this is Reisberg’s directorial debut. It’s also intimately shot, so we can be absorbed into the protagonist’s world with ease. We know that character well, and definitely find pieces of ourselves in him.
Craig, played by Harry Lloyd, is a lonely, somewhat socially awkward man. He’s about to become suffocated by a perfect relationship, and the solo road trip he goes on is supposed to give him a breath of fresh air. More specifically, he goes on a road trip with stops to see things that are big with an exclamation point, like the World’s Biggest Frying Pan. Ultimately, the audience is able to connect with him because he’s a man that is lost and doesn’t know where he’s going, but he’s intriguing enough that viewers will want to find out along with him, even if he ends up going nowhere. He meets a cast of quirky, fun characters; however, they don’t seem to be enough to give a second thought about. Sure, Krista Kosonen’s character is engaging, but I don’t even remember her name in the film.
The big significant things themselves end up not being too significant at all. Craig was excited to take in all these sights of oversized creations, but throughout the film Craig’s interest in them fades. Marriage, having children, buying a house, and so on are all part of the “big significant things” checklist on the roadmap of life. Naturally, Craig curls up into an anxious ball of fear for what’s to come.
In the end, we are left with a film that gives us an unfiltered look at the nervous calm before the storm. Craig is a man that’s on the run from growing up; yet, the journey he goes on may actually help him do exactly that. The last shot says it all.
Big Significant Things will be playing at the San Diego Film Festival. Get your tickets at the SDFF website.