Big Fan (Review)

BIG FAN
(10/23/09; Drama)
Patton Oswalt, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Rapaport, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Gino Cafarelli, Matt Servitto, Jonathan Hamm
SCR/DIR: Robert D. Siegel
MPAA: R for language and some sexuality.
1 hour 26 mins
BOX: $233,908

Parking garage attendant Paul (Oswald, in his first lead) is obsessed with the New York Giants. Every night, he calls a sports radio show taunting the team’s opponents, much to the amusement of the audience (he writes down his taunts before performing them on the radio).

One night, he and his best friend spot the Giants’ larger-than-life star player Quantrell Bishop (Hamm) and follow/stalk him to a high-end Manhattan strip joint. To say the night ends badly is an understatement: Paul wakes up in a hospital three days later, stunned to learn the incident has resulted in the player being benched pending a criminal investigation.

Big problem: If Paul presses charges, he’ll doom his beloved team. What’s a big fan to do? Siegel’s first film as a director – he previously wrote The Wrestler (2008) – is filled with lovable losers who never devolve into caricature.

Oswald’s performance is powerful. Despite being primarily known as a comedian and the voice of Remy the rat in Ratatouille (2007), his dramatic turn here is the kind that launches careers. But I have to admit, it is strange to hear the voice of a lovable rat cursing someone out. (First Independent Pictures)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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