This review originally ran in September when Colossal played the Toronto International Film Festival. We are rerunning it now that it’s in theaters.
First of all, when you’re at a film festival, there’s no way to turn down the opportunity to see a movie billed as “The Anne Hathaway Godzilla movie.” Like, impossible. After serious drama after serious drama, “The Anne Hathaway Godzilla movie” sounds like heroin to a weary movie watcher. Gimme that!
Of course, I kind of expected Colossal to be silly – most likely in a fun way, but still “silly.” I was not expecting to really, really like this movie. And I was certainly not expecting it to be this dark and twisted.
All I knew before seeing Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal is the short little blurb the Toronto International Film Festival put out, which was basically, “as a monster attacks Seoul, a woman feels a special connection with the monster.” This sounds kind of lame. From that description, I thought maybe she could speak to the monster. That didn’t sound like a movie I would like even though I had to see it. But, no, (as we learn very early in the film so I don’t think this is a spoiler but if you are very sensitive to anything that you might think is a spoiler, this is your warning), Gloria (Hathaway) is the monster.
When the film opens, Gloria lives in New York City, but things aren’t going well: she has lost her job and she and her live-in boyfriend (Dan Stevens) are breaking up. With no other options, she moves back home into her parents’ empty house – her parents still own the house but do not live there. Soon, she runs into an old elementary school friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who hires her at his local bar. Things are swell!