Big Fan

2009, Comedy/Drama, 1h 28m

88 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Featuring Patton Oswalt's sympathetic portrayal, Big Fan humorously and effectively captures the dark and lonely world of a sports fanatic. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt), a parking-garage employee, is a huge fan of the New York Giants. He lives at home with his mother (Marcia Jean Kurtz) and spends much of his free time extolling the virtues of his favorite football team on sports radio. One night, Paul and his best friend, Sal (Kevin Corrigan), spy Giants linebacker Quantrell Bishop in their neighborhood and follow him to a strip club. Paul decides to approach his idol, but the encounter goes very badly.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Big Fan

Audience Reviews for Big Fan

  • Nov 19, 2011
    Robert D. Siegel, bring a criative screenplay that show to the audience the empty and lonely life of Paul Aufiero, Patton Oswalt in a very good acting, a sport fanatic, just like others fans. Big Fan, is a terrific independant dark comedy that, make me want see the film from the beginning to the end. Fresh.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 16, 2011
    Big Fan is a minor, dark indie masterpiece, full of honesty, drama, pathos and painful humor. Writer/director Robert Seigel shows immense talent as an observer of obsessive losers who have the audience's absolute empathy, despite of - or because of --their utter lack of self awareness. . Be warned if you're expecting another Adam Sandler Waterboy - it's NOT essentially a comedy, let alone a Hollywood one. In a blurb on the box, you might be misled into thinking that this is light fare about wacky sports fans. The same material could have easily been spun in a way similar to other light Hollywood comedies about obsessive fans like Fever PItch. That disconnect is likely why the film didn't much of an audience in its theatrical release and those who have seen it, expecting wacky Sandler-like mayhem, must have ejected the DVD disc before hitting the half hour mark. The film captures a culture of obsessive football fans who define their entire lives by the ups and downs of their team (The New York Giants in this case). Their own limited lives matter far less to them than the fate of their heroes. Paul, the lead character is self defeating. He runs away from any chance of getting out of his mother's house and his job as a parking lot attendant at the age of 35 and lives to call in to the sport phone in shows as the most super Giants fan of them all, his only accomplishment. That and getting the stuffing beaten out him, almost killing him, at the hands of the Giants' star QB. The casting of all supportive roles is stellar, from Paul's suffering mother to his Sancho Panza buddy in Giants obsession, to his sleazy brother, a personal injury lawyer. The film is grungy, and not aesthetically beautiful, but is appropriate to its dreary setting and characters. It's also paced beautifully. After this and the Wrestler (an excellent film, but I think this film is more interesting, despite Mickey Rourke's star power) I greatly anticipate what Robert Seigel will do next. Not to mention the star: Oswalt's performance is full of honesty and courage, he is very gifted with the pathos as well as the funny. Every twist and turn of Big Fan is surprising and fresh, and pays off. I thought the only misstep in Seigel's script was a hasty and apparently violent ending (last ten minutes) that didn't quite compute. In addition, no one changes or learns any lessons, which is possibly true to life, but not as interesting dramatically.
    Josh M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2011
    pretty good movie some good acting and some memorable parts
    Paul A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2011
    8.3/10 "Big Fan" is so very wrongly advertised as a straight-up comedy. Even the poster features undertones of comedy; it depicts a melancholic Patton Oswalt with sports-fan make-up all over his face. Yes, that is funny; he is miserable and sad. Perhaps this was an attempt at dark comedy, although it certainly got me to watch the film. I started "Big Fan" knowing only the premise and the star. I had not read any reviews prior to my viewing, and maybe this worked for my personal benefit. I conclude that I had no idea what was destined to hit me. "Big Fan" is an extraordinarily crafty drama that does indeed double as some sort of comedy, although sticks to its dramatic side for most of its 85-minute run time. I suppose this is a good thing, because the script is strong within the genre of drama. I didn't expect it to be as good of a film as it was. Hell, given the subject matter, it gives me no reason why I should have enjoyed or even LIKED the film. But you never can tell, can you? Paul (Patton Oswalt) is a big fan (of the New York Giants football team). His one and only friend is Sal (Kevin Corrigan), and yes, Sal is also a " big fan", although Paul might be into his passion just a wee bit more. Paul is depicted as a lovable low-life who lives with his mother and works as an attendant in a parking garage. Being a New York Giants fan may be his only reason to live, and his only form of escapism. Paul spends his "other life", as a fan, quite well. He's a frequent caller for a local sports radio station, where he bashes an opposing rival team, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles also have their own devoted supporter, who locks horns with Paul more than often, on the radio show. Did I forget to mention that Paul's favorite Giants player is Quantrell Bishop? Yeah, well...he is. One night, Paul and Sal are out on a drive, and they see their favorite football star out in the big city. They follow the guy to a strip club, where they finally confront him, and, well...let's just say that Paul ends up meeting his idol in ways he could have never imagined or wanted. Paul gets beaten by the man he so closely and gleefully idolized. Afterwards, he refuses to sue. This is because he does not want the Giants to lose their greatest and most influential player. However, Bishop ends up being taken out of play for quite some time anyways, and Paul's team goes to hell afterwards. There is stuff that most definitely happens after the events I have already described, but this film is too good to spoil...at least completely. It is backed by so many things that yes, I would even go as far as to call it fascinating and whimsical. Yet, the film is also bleak and dark. Very dark. It has laughs, as it is part comedy, but some of them will be tough sells. You might not always laugh out loud at the humorous moments, and you might feel bad for the central character, but none-the-less, this is a film with more humanity than half the films on the market today. It is an indie picture, yes, but hardly one for the hipster crowd. Hell, I'm not even sure if it's for the sport fan crowd. They could probably relate to some of it, but will they truly like it? I cannot say. Patton Oswalt has proven himself a worthy opponent of ANYONE when it comes to comedy acting, but here he tries his hand at drama, and succeeds almost miraculously. How the script, for this film, was pulled off so ingeniously, I shall never know. It's almost impossible to come across people in the movie business who are intelligent quite like the writers of this film were. They mix satire with the darkness of the human heart. Sometimes I smiled, sometimes I frowned. None the less, I was intoxicated in Oswalt's performance, the script, and just about everything else. This is a film that deserves an audience. Consider me a fan.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer

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