become a Patreon patron

film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Big Significant Things movie review: road trip to nowhere

Big Significant Things yellow light

A leisurely, slightly absurd drive through 20something ennui that is as maddeningly diffuse as its protagonist’s state of mind.
I’m “biast” (pro): love Harry Lloyd

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Craig (Harry Lloyd: The Riot Club) is on one of those road trips in the American South where you stop to see attractions such the World’s Largest Cedar Bucket — that’s in Oxford, Mississippi — and get advice from locals about the weird and wonderful things to see in their towns (though sometimes all they have to recommend is the Pizza Hut down the street). He seems sad, though, and soon we come to realize that he has lied to his girlfriend about what he’s up to: she thinks he’s working (he’s in advertising), although sometimes she also seems to think that he’s driving with friends; their phone conversations enlighten us more to a strain in their relationship — lying comes easy to Craig — than to the concrete details of their situation. Except we do know that he is going to meet her in San Francisco, where they will be buying a house and starting a new life. Perhaps Craig is not ready for that big step? This first feature from writer-director Bryan Reisberg is a leisurely, slightly absurd drive through 20something ennui that is as maddeningly diffuse as Craig’s state of mind, and Lloyd’s irresistible appeal makes him more sympathetic than he probably should be. This is a story very much about the journey, not the destination, which is probably a good thing, because it goes nowhere.

See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of Big Significant Things for its representation of girls and women.

yellow light 2.5 stars

please help keep truly independent film criticism alive!
support my work at Patreon  support my work at Substack
Pledge your support now at Patreon or Substack.

When you purchase or rent almost anything from Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and iTunes (globally), you help support my work at Flick Filosopher. Please use my links when you’re shopping at either service. Thank you!

watch at home

Big Significant Things (2015)
US/Can release: Jul 24 2015 (VOD same day)

MPAA: not rated

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap