Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Big Fan: Movie Review

Soul-fulfilling examination of a "Big Fan".

"Big Fan" is about Paul (Patton Oswalt) who is a really big fan of the New York Giants. It's a simple premise and one that you think you see on a regular basis. But this movie is different because we really meet Paul, on a very personal level. We see everything in his life that makes him who he is. Even though Paul takes the word "fanatic" to a very serious level, he's accessible and it seems very real.   2009

Directed by: Robert D. Siegel

Screenplay by: Robert D. Siegel

Starring: Patton Oswalt

It's really slow moving because we basically just follow Paul around as he lives his very lowly life, everything revolving around the Giants, and listens to sports talk radio. I was completely riveted. This is a character study at the highest level. It doesn't use sex or drugs or big-budget action to get us interested, only Paul himself. And a little bit of football talk.

This is a darkly comic, but also very real, introspection of a sports fan. Every aspect of Paul had thought put into including interactions with and characteristics of all his family members and friend(s). "Big Fan" is the best mix of character study and sports, written at a very high level.

The director and screenwriter, Robert Siegel, also wrote "The Wrestler" which I was not a big fan of. Although it was critically acclaimed, I feel that "Big Fan" actually accomplishes what "The Wrestler" was supposed to - a soul-fulfilling examination of what sports can do to some people. The humour echos the realness and intelligence found in the The Onion - Siegel was an editor in chief. That should just reinforce the recommendation to see this movie.