Sun's Review of Big Fan
Big Fan tells the story of Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt) who is a "big fan" of the New York Football Giants.
Paul, a parking garage attendant, is nearing middle age, living at home with his elderly mother and in the shadow of his successful lawyer brother Jeff. He doesn't appear to have much going for him but he does have his Giants.
Paul's mom (Marcia Jean Kurtz) is wildly happy about the sucess of her lawyer son Jeff who is on his second marriage to his attractive secretary Gina (Serafina Fiore). She is very disappointed with Paul who she says never dates anyone but his own hand (very funny scene between the two of them).
The only bright spot for Paul is his nightly calls to a sports talk station where he spars with Philadelphia Phil (Michael Rapaport), a Philadelphia Eagles fan that keeps ragging on the Giants and predicts that the Eagles will overtake the Giants in the standings.
Paul and his friend Sal (Kevin Corrigan) attend all of the Giants home games, but not in the stadium, instead in the parking lot of the Meadowlands watching on a TV run by his car.
While out one night, Paul and Sal happen to cross paths with Paul's favorite player, Quantrell Bishop (Jonathan Hamm) and decided to follow him and his friends. Their following ends up taking them into New York City where it would appear that Quantrell's friends take part in a drug purchase. They continue to follow Quantrell to topless bar where they finally get up the nerve to approach Quantrell and his friends. Paul and Sal explain that they had been following them and Quantrell realizes that they may have seen the drug deal take place. This infuriates Quantrell who proceeds to beat Paul very badly.
Paul wakes up in the hospital several days later to find out that his Giants had lost that weekend and that Quantrell has been benched pending the investigation of the beating.
Paul gets out of the hospital and we follow him on a several week downward spiral where he continues to pull for his Giants while fighting in his own head about what his favorite player did to him. He also continues to call into the sports talk show and battles it out with Philadelphia Phil who gets more and more pointed as the Giants continue to lose and the Eagles continue to win. This all comes to a head when Philadelphia Phil reveals that Paul is actually the man that Quantrell beat and that he has filed a lawsuit against him. The lawsuit is news to Paul as his brother filed it on his behalf.
Well, that give away most of the movie but I will not spoil the excellent ending where I felt is was going to go one way but instead went a completely different direction. Very well done in my opinion.
Patton Oswalt was very well cast as Paul who is losing all that he lives for with the loses that his Giants are facing due to the man that beat him being suspended. While I have not seen him in anything else, I would certainly look for him in future roles and watch for him.
Marcia Jean Kurtz was also good as Paul's mom. Some very funny scenes take place between Paul and his mom. Of note, the conversation about the collection of Chinese food sauce packets, his inability to date anyone and Paul's feelings about his brothers second marriage. All good fun!
The film is filmed in a very grainy, low budget fashion which really helped move the story from a upbeat, big fan type film to the unraveling of life.
The sound track was well placed as well, really adding to what was happening on the screen at the moment.
HOT GIRL ALERT - Not much here except Serafina Fiore and her GIANT breasts. Yes...GIANT. She appears in this as the typical Jersey princess.
So...8 out of 10 for me...Good movie with a great ending. It is a shame that this film wasn't a bit better promoted as I think that there is a larger audience out there for it.