Big Fan - ***
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Michael Rappaport
Review: This is a movie I was pretty excited for when I first heard about it. Patton Oswalt as a crazy football fan in a movie about talk radio? And it's a comedy? Sounds awesome. However, this movie was slightly different from what I expected. From the previous reviews I had read I knew there were some serious undertones here but what I got was still not what I expected.
The movie centers around Patton Oswalt's character Paul and his love for the New York Football Giants. Paul has a dead end job as a parking garage attendant that provides no future and not even enough money to live on his own, causing him to live with his mom. However, the one thing the job does provide is time for him to write his monologue's that he spouts out on talk radio shows late into the night. This is what Paul truly lives for and what makes him happiest in life. This is the only thing Paul cares about and pretty much the only thing that brings him joy in life.
Paul's life takes a turn for the worse when, upon meeting his favorite player from the Giants in person, he is beaten to within an inch of his life. This is a very pivotal moment in Paul's life. How is he to react to his favorite team and favorite player now? Can he still love as he did before? Paul cares so much for his team and his favorite player that is completely turned his world upside down when he was seemingly betrayed by a team and person he loved so much.
I will stop there as the movie leads you down one path only to take you down another, and I don't wish to ruin it for you all. What I loved about this movie was Patton Oswalt. I have always been a big fan (pun intended) but he really showed some acting chops in this movie. When his world gets flipped on it's lid and he doesn't know where to turn, there are some really powerful scenes. While not as crazy as Paul, as a HUGE sports fan, I can sympathize with Paul's plight. His fandom is his chance to escape the mundanity of his every day life and be a part of something great. This is what all fans are fans for. When your team wins a championship and you have been a fan for years, it is pure validation for all the time and effort you put into being a fan. The movie displays this perfectly, the tenacious pride and never ending optimism are the signs of a true fan.
My only qualms with this movie were how small it felt sometimes and Paul's friend. He idolized Paul like he was a 12 year old who thought his big bro was the coolest person ever. While maybe this was supposed to be the point and add to the story, to me it just didn't fit and took away from the overall movie.
All in all, I would say it's worth your time.