Patton Oswalt & Kevin Corrigan in Big Fan
Patton Oswalt & Kevin Corrigan
Films without end have been made about the heroes of sport, but who speaks for the fans?
Who especially speaks for the fanatic, the zealot who devotes an entire life to a team with the single-minded intensity of a monk meditating in a cave?
"Big Fan" does, exceptionally well.
Written and directed by
Its situations can be outrageous, but its sense of the core reality it describes is impeccable.
This is not easily done, because the outsize passions of fans such as the film's
"Big Fan" neither denigrates nor idealizes Paul; it may not even like him, but it does respect the ferocity of those convictions.
Siegel, who gives himself a brief cameo as an obnoxious journalist, is the writer of
and both films share a feeling for the people who live on the fringes of professional sports. As he did for
Oswalt, best known for stand-up comedy, TV's "The King of Queens" and his turn as the voice of Remy in "Ratatouille," may be unlikely to get an Oscar nomination, but he deserves one.
A 36-year-old resident of
Because "The Zone" is a late-night show, Paul also has to contend with a difficulty closer to home, and that is his
light-sleeping mother, Theresa (
Theresa and Paul regularly tear into each other like a mother-son version of "Who's Afraid of
Though he loves all the
The ultimate destination turns out to be a
These religious metaphors are not chosen at random, because it is the achievement of "Big Fan" to let us see Paul not necessarily as a loser but as someone who has found something that sustains him. When he says of his conventional siblings, "I don't want what they've got," he's telling the biggest truth he knows.
"Big Fan" Movie Trailer
Paul Aufiero (PATTON OSWALT), a 35-year-old parking garage attendant from Staten Island, is the self-described "world's biggest New York Giants fan." He lives at home with his mother (MARCIA JEAN KURTZ), spending his off hours calling in to local sports-radio station 760 The Zone, where he rants and raves in support of his beloved team, often against his mysterious on-air rival, Eagles fan Philadelphia Phil (MICHAEL RAPAPORT). His family berates him for doing nothing with his life, but they don't understand the depth of his love of the Giants or the responsibility his fandom carries.
MPAA rating: R (for language and some sexuality).
Running time: 1:25.
Written and directed by
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