Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Big Fan (2009) - Movie Marathon Drive-Thru Review: Film #8


On the Menu:
BIG FAN (2009)

Ingredients: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Rapaport, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Matt Servitto, Gino Cafarelli, Serafina Fiore and Jonathan Hamm. Directed by Robert Siegel. Run time: 87 minutes. Rated: R.

At First Bite: I had heard good things about this when it came out on DVD. Oswalt is one of my favorite comedians, and I've only been disappointed by 3 movies (out of 22) starring Rapaport. Plus, it's about a Giants fan, so there was a possibility of hearing/seeing that the Redskins didn't also suck in movie world.

Tough to Swallow: The scenes at night are really dark and hard to make out at times.

There isn't really a media circus as one would expect following an incident involving a pro athlete.

In the law firm commercial, the name Bauman is pronounced Bo-man by Paul's brother (one of the partners). The client in the commercial pronounces it Bow-man (think wow). There are numerous outtakes of the making of this commercial on the DVD. Also, in the commercial there's an apostrophe in "auto accidents" making it "auto accident's."

When Paul is reading the newspaper article about the investigation stalling, the filmmakers copied and pasted a couple paragraphs to make the article longer.

The final game of the season between the Giants and Eagles is a Monday night game. There are no Monday night games scheduled in the final week.

Paul's last name, Aufiero, is pronounced Aw-fee-arrow. Phil pronounces it as Ah-four-ee-oh and Ah-far-ee-oh.

Paul introduces himself to Phil as Mark. But, Phil calls him Paul in the restroom.

Sal shows Paul the schedule for the upcoming season, but it is a 15-week schedule with 14 games instead of a 17-week schedule with 16 games. Plus, the Giants wouldn't play the Dolphins, Patriots and Chargers in the same regular season. The Chargers are an AFC West team; the others are in the East. The 17-week schedule should include the Bills and Jets as matchups, not the Chargers.

Another thing wrong with that schedule is it lists December 9th and 20th both as Sundays.

Alas, no Redskins highlights or mentions. They are obviously behind both Philly and New York in the division race though.

Something to Chew On: Siegel directed and wrote the screenplay. He also has a cameo as a NY Newsday reporter.

It's funny that Paul chides his brother for eliminating contractions from his speech in order to sound smarter, but if you read any of Paul's notes, he crosses out contractions and writes out the phrase.

Pay attention to what kind of cake Paul's 7-year-old nephew is presented with on his birthday. Hilarious.

The 30-minute Q&A with Siegel and Oswalt on the DVD is well worth the watch.

Aftertaste: I didn't expect Oswalt to pull off this character, but he definitely reminded me of De Niro's delusional Rupert Pupkin in THE KING OF COMEDY. Paul is no Gil Renard though, that's for sure. He's not a smart man either.

Paul is obsessive, sure, but it's his loyalty that is his downfall. One could liken his situation to that of a domestic abuse victim. He is the one victimized, yet makes excuses to maintain the relationship.

BIG FAN is a dark comedy, and might be difficult to watch for some if only because Paul isn't really a likable character and you feel sorry for him. His buddy, Sal (Corrigan), might be the "brightest" part of the film, and that's saying something. The funniest scenes, to me, are the root beer and internet scenes (with Sal and Paul).

I like the writing. I mean, Siegel went from THE WRESTLER to this. He creates a dumbed-down football fanatic to perfection. And, that's what is also so great about Oswalt's performance. He's so much smarter than the character, and doesn't follow sports. He's a comic book nerd.

It's impressive.

Rating:

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