Big Fan Movie Review
In Big Fan, Patton Oswalt stars as "Paul from Stanton Island," an avid New York Giants fan who lives and dies by the team's week-to-week victories and losses. He spends his nights calling into his favorite talk radio show with scripted diatribes about how the Giants are so great, and when he's not doing that he's either hanging out with his best friend Sal (Kevin Corrigan) or arguing with his mother, whom he lives with. In other words, Paul is a thirty-something loser.
So when he innocently follows the star quarterback of the Giants to a nightclub and gets beaten to a pulp, he finds himself in the ultimate predicament: does he give his hero the jail time and lawsuit that he deserves, hence destroying the foundation of the team he loves, or keep quiet? It's an interesting dilemma, and one that is delivered home by Oswalt's performance.
Oswalt is excellent in the lead, capturing the essence of a diehard sports fan but layering that with the fact that he is, indeed, a loser. He's a man of conviction, but flawed in that his priorities are scrambled. His life could be something, or he could "take one for the team." Oswalt pulls the character off quite well.
The movie as a whole, written and directed by Robert Siegel, isn't nearly as good. It's not that Big Fan isn't good; it's just that it isn't that good. The film maintains interest from beginning to end, but the resolution is bland. In fact, the entire third act doesn't deliver much other than an over-the-top "shooting" scene and a bunch of back-and-forth decision making. Ultimately, it's well done but not nearly as intriguing as it could have been.
Big Fan is an interesting character study, but it fails to score when it's on the two-yard line. If you don't mind settling for a field goal, it may be worth it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.