Big Fan (2009)

Paul (Patton Oswalt) is the world biggest NY Giants fan.  He lives and breathes Giants football, but he does a lot of that living at home with his mommy and at work in a parking garage.  Paul is a bit of a man-child, and has no goals in his life except to cheer on his favorite team, and player – Quantrell Bishop.  He spends most of his free time in his room jerking it to Phil Simms posters or calling the local radio show to argue with his nemesis, Eagle’s fan Philadelphia Phil.  One night while Paul is out with his equally shlubby pal, they spot Quantrell at a gas station and follow him and his entourage in their car.  They proceed to go through a dodgy neighborhood where a member of Quantrell’s posse might have engaged is some sketchy dealings, and end up following them downtown to a strip club.  They sit there ignoring the bouncing boobs and shaking rumps and stay focused on their hero.  Paul gets up the nerve to talk to him and mentions that they followed them from the gas station.  Quantrell doesn’t take kindly to people following him and perhaps seeing something that they shouldn’t have, and proceeds to beat the ever-living shit out of Paul.

Paul awakes three days later in a hospital bed with massive head trauma courtesy of his idol.  While Bishop has been suspended from the team, no criminal charges have been filed, and Paul is reluctant to give the cops any information for fear of hurting his team.  As the days and weeks pass, the Giants keep losing without their star player; so Paul tells the cops that he has no recollection of the events from that night, and they are forced to drop the case.  Bishop is back on the team and the G-Men are ready for the push for the playoffs… but wait!  Paul’s brother the lawyer slaps a civil suit on Bishop and re-ignites the case.  After hearing enough shit on the radio from Philadelphia Phil about him and his team, Paul goes on the air to clear up the entire situation, and set things straight.  That is until his mommy gets on the phone and tells him to be quiet as the radio show hosts laugh him right into hysterics.  He is fed up with this shit.  He skips watching the game on Sunday and drives to Philly.  He stops at a sporting goods store to buy some Eagles gear and a GUN!  With his face painted up like some sort of Bravehart with downs-syndrome, he tracks down Phil at a sports bar, and corners him in the bathroom.  He pulls out the gun and repetedly shoots Phil in the chest for being such an asshole, before proclaiming that the Eagles suck.  Phil sits there in shock as he is covered in red and blue paint, and probably with a big poop log in his pants.  Paul runs from the bar waiving the gun, which probably wasn’t too smart, and is soon tackled by the police.  Although he is sitting in jail for the next few months, he is still optimistic about the Giants next season.

Alex’s Thoughts:  I saw the trailer for this movie and was confused, because Netflix clearly states that this is a comedy.  I thought maybe there were just a few serious parts and it will still be funny.  This is very much not a comedy!  It is a gritty film and shows a side of Patton Oswalt that I had never seen before. I ended up liking the movie for what it was, although I was a little disappointed that this was pitched to me as a funny movie, when the only thing funny was his mom talking about him jerking off.  While not a sports fan to the extent of the character Paul, I can only imagine the decision that he had to make. Any rational person knows what the right choice is, but sometimes hard-core sports fan are anything but rational. Remember, fan is actually short for fanatic!  If you enjoy sports movies or are interested in a different kind of drama, this might be worth taking a look at. Alex Rates This Movie 7/10

Tim’s Thoughts: This had the same writer as the Wrestler, and this movie has a similar tragic path. There are parts where you laugh, but it’s not because it’s funny, but almost in spite of yourself. The situation is so sad, and Oswalt’s character is so pathetic that you want so badly for him to evolve, and better himself by growing through all the trials he faces. Instead (like the Wrestler) his decisions only seem to add fuel to an already raging fire, and you shake your head as he spirals downward. It’s not all his fault, and he’s actually quite sympathetic because he seems to be a by product of his dysfunctional family, and when he tries to do what he wants, he is constantly undermined by his siblings and mother. It’s one big tragedy that you can’t help but keep watching, as you keep hoping that Patton will do the right thing, or at least find some modicum of happiness. Very similar to the Wrestler in tone and I think if you like that movie (and you should) then you will also like Big Fan. NOT a comedy, not funny at all, but it’s not supposed to be. They marketed this movie so poorly that it was doomed before it even got started. Tim Rates This Movie 10/10

“How do you get a concussion when you don’t got any fucking brains?”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue