6.7/10
8,457
52 user 83 critic

Big Fan (2009)

A hard-core New York Giants fan struggles to deal with the consequences when he is beaten up by his favorite player.

Director:

Robert D. Siegel

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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patton Oswalt ... Paul Aufiero
Kevin Corrigan ... Sal
Michael Rapaport ... Philadelphia Phil
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Paul's Mom
Serafina Fiore ... Gina Aufiero
Gino Cafarelli ... Jeff Aufiero
Jonathan Hamm Jonathan Hamm ... Quantrell Bishop
Matt Servitto ... Detective Velardi
Joe Garden Joe Garden ... Dennis
Polly Humphreys ... Christine
Scott Ferrall ... Sports Dogg
Sidné Anderson ... Hospital Doctor (as Sidne Anderson)
Julian Lane Julian Lane ... Birthday Boy
Caroline Gallo Caroline Gallo ... Gina and Jeff Daughter
Maya Louise Dispenza Maya Louise Dispenza ... Christine and Dennis Daughter
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Storyline

Paul Aufiero, a hardcore New York Giants football fan, struggles to deal with the consequences when he is beaten up by his favorite player. Written by Big Fan Productions, Inc.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paul Aufiero See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,266, 30 August 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$234,422, 21 March 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An infomercial from Pitchmen (2009) star Anthony Sullivan is heard playing on the television. See more »

Goofs

The movie shows Paul entering Pennsylvania on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. When he stops to change at a rest area, it is obviously in New Jersey, due to the fact one can see a map of New Jersey on the wall of a payphone as Paul is walking to the restroom to change. See more »

Quotes

Paul Aufiero: He was rusty.
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Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(1893)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
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User Reviews

 
Kept afloat by Oswalt's fascinating performance, which is hard to shake off even after the credits are over.
5 January 2010 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

Paul is in his mid-thirties, single, and still living at home with his mother. He works as a parking lot attendant in New York, and is content to sit in his booth at night writing down passionate, articulate rants, so that when he goes home he can call a local radio sports show and prove his fanaticism for the Giants, his favorite football team.

Paul is played by Patton Oswalt, one of the funniest stand-up comedians alive, and what he does in this film is really quite remarkable. He creates a fully convincing and pathetic loser, and is unafraid to reveal all the character's lowest points. If this were an Adam Sandler comedy we'd probably have scenes showing us how misunderstood and sweet Paul is, so we can understand that he's the one we're meant to root for, but Oswalt's Paul isn't so cleancut. He treats his family like crap and has terrible mood swings; he only seems truly happy when he's in his element: either witnessing a Giants win or ranting to strangers on the radio. The fact that he must write his speeches down beforehand, and preps himself for hours in advance of calling, says everything.

Paul gets in trouble when he spots a Giants quarterback at a gas station in a shady neighborhood and follows him into a NYC nightclub. After an awkward introduction, Paul makes the mistake of mentioning that he's been following the sports star and his entourage for the past few hours, and the drunken athlete reacts by beating him senseless. Three days later Paul is hospitalized and the police want his statement -- but he suddenly "can't remember" anything that happened, desperately hoping the Giants won't be forced to suspend their star athlete. But that's just the beginning of his problems.

Big Fan is the directorial debut of Robert D. Siegel, who wrote last year's sports-themed The Wrestler. Both movies concern the plights of apparent losers, the biggest difference being Mickey Rourke's 'Ram' actually had a life at one point, whereas Paul's existence is experienced vicariously. Everyone around him tries to offer a better life, whether it's jobs or moving into his own place, but he firmly rejects them. In Paul's eyes, this is his life. He is perfectly content to be discontent, and the movie's lack of transformation for its character will undoubtedly alienate some viewers.

And, put bluntly, Big Fan is not as strong or poignant as The Wrestler. Siegel is not as capable a director as Darren Aronofsky, and the story -- despite clocking in at under an hour and a half -- does tend to meander a few times. But it is endearingly bleak, honest and real, and kept afloat by Oswalt's fascinating performance, which is hard to shake off even after the credits are over.


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