Big Fan Review by Alberto DeSouza

Patton Oswalt in Big Fan
Big Fan

For the cineastes in the audience, I’m happy to bring back semi-irregular movie correspondent (in frequency, not disposition), Alberto DeSouza, for a review of a movie I thoroughly enjoyed, Robert Siegel‘s directorial debut, “Big Fan“.

Big Fan Film Review
By Alberto DeSouza

“If you think you’re a sports fantatic, whether as a viewer, participant, or both, you ain’t seen nothing like Paul from Staten Island (Patton Oswalt), the seriously psychologically damaged goods in this very sharp and well-done independent flick on a super-low budget.

Here’s a guy who eeks out a living as a parking garage attendant (and who’s quite happy to remain as he is) but who has a profound obsession with his NY Giants team and is a regular on one of the sports radio programs. For the current season, he has an on-going feud with his nemesis, an almost equally twisted grown-up with no life, who’s an Eagle fan.

By chance, Paul and his sidekick spot the Jints superstar quarterback, Quantrell Bishop (hence the initials QB for quarterback – obvious but clever) somewhere in Staten Island. They follow him to Manhattan into a posh nightclub where a Bud goes for $9. An altercation breaks out when they approach QB and Paul ends up in the hospital. His idol QB is suspended pending an investigation.

But the obsessive fan that he his, he refuses to testify against QB to allow him to continue playing. Even his brother who wants to sue is pissed off and screams, “How does one get a concussion with no fucking brain?”

This is less of a story about twisted football fans, rather about a deeply disturbed and introverted individual who is incapable of communicating with other people who don’t share his passion for sports, particularly football. He has found his subculture of equally lost souls, who’s probably on the very bottom rung, and becomes its demented prisoner despite the masochocist punishment, physically and psychologically from his hero icon QB. He has no other interests: women, sex, drugs, whatever. His church is Giant Stadium and worships his team in the parking lot with a portable TV with his buddy every Sunday. Think of a short, pudgy Travis Bickle Lite from Taxi Driver.

His family, who genuinely loves him and tries to help him, tries the Good Guy approach and the tough love approach. But Paul is unmoved, detached and possibly lost permanently. His ‘family’ is the NY Giants, win or lose, and his father figure is QB since there’s no mention of his father in the movie.

There’s a screamingly hiliarious scene between Paul and his mother in the car. It was so funny and unexpectedly, I practically choked on my dessert.

With respect to films depicting real-life damaged characters, this flick is superb and a must-see.”

“Big Fan” is currently playing in NY, NJ, and PA and is opening in more theaters across the nation every weekend. Check this link to help locate a theatre near you.