michael gallucci


In Uncategorized on 11/10/2009 at 4:08 am

Don’t worry if you don’t know whether to laugh at or pity Paul Aufiero, the New York Giants fanatic at the center of director Robert Siegel’s occasionally funny and sometimes moving film. That’s the way Big Fan wants it. Played by comedian Patton Oswalt (in a role that’s far from comic), Paul — a 36-year-old, minimum-wage-earning parking-lot attendant — still lives with his mom and is the kind of guy who writes down what he wants to say before he makes his nightly call to sports-talk radio. He can’t afford season tickets, so he sits in the parking lot with his best friend listening to the games after all the other tailgaters head inside the stadium. One night, he follows the Giants’ star linebacker, Quantrell Bishop, into a strip club and proceeds to get his ass kicked by his hero. Paul ends up in the hospital, but he’s more concerned how Quantrell’s suspension will affect the team than he is with seeing justice served. Paul is a true fanatic; he can’t bring himself to press charges against his hero. “I don’t want to be one of those assholes who sues Burger King because his Whopper is too hot,” he tells his attorney brother. Oswalt (who was the voice of Remy the rat in Ratatouille) is great as the devoted fan; Kevin Corrigan is also terrific as his loyal pal. Siegel also wrote The Wrestler, and he expertly mines the other side of the game for similar results in his directorial debut. There are some darkly funny moments in Big Fan. But nobody plays it for laughs in this warped, wonderful look at fanaticism pushed to the breaking point. –Michael Gallucci


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