The Indies: Big Fan
With Patton Oswalt and Kevin Corrigan.
I watched this movie for the sole reason that it is the directorial debut from the screenwriter of The Wrestler, which is one of my all-time favorite movies. If The Wrestler is a depressing look at a washed-up professional entertainer, Big Fan is a profile of a pathetically hopeless professional loser. Paul (Patton Oswalt) is a 36 year-old that still lives with his mother. He spends his days working as a parking lot attendant and preparing his statements for his nightly calls into the local sports talk radio station. Everything (and at the same time, nothing) changes when he gets beat up by his favorite player, a New York Giants Linebacker, at a night club. Paul’s entire family, including his lawyer brother, urges him to press charges against the millionaire athlete for beating him within an inch of his life. Paul, being the “big fan” that he is, refuses to press charges because it would result in a suspension for the player and hurt the Giants’ chances of making the playoffs.
The movie was made on an extremely small budget and carries a very dark and murky look. I typically enjoy movies that explore the darker side of humanity, but this a whole different story all together. The character portrayed in Big Fan has no redeeming qualities. He is lazy, has no ambition, is disrespectful to his very generous mother and refuses to better his situation. I prefer to see some sort of change in character by the end of the film, whether it be for better or for worse. Paul shows no promise for a better future, and the movie ends with no hope for tomorrow. I understand the point the director was trying to make, but the only profound effect Big Fan has made on me is that I’ll never be able to listen to AM radio the same way again.