Last night, the old lady and I settled down with our beer and wine to watch the 2009 dark comedy Big Fan starring Patton Oswald. I'll go ahead and admit that the Chicago Q&A that's found in the Special Features on the DVD is way funnier than the film itself, but that's because Patton Oswald is just being his hilarious self, answering the audience questions. If you go out and rent this movie, don't skip this bit.
Okay, end of digression.
In a nutshell, you've got a film about the intensity of fandom. Something we should all know about, being frequenters of this very site. Patton Oswald plays a guy who's happy with his crappy job as a parking lot attendant, because it gives him time to do what he really loves, which is call into sports talk shows. Patton is a NY Giants fan known by his handle "Paul from Staten Island", and frequently gets in verbal wars with Eagles fan "Philadelphia Phil". If you've ever listened to the Finebaum show, you know the type, think I-man v. Jim from Tuscaloosa, or that sort.
Well, one day Patton sees his favorite player at a Mobile station in Staten Island and decides to see where he's going. Oswald follows him to a Manhatten strip club where a meeting with his idol doesn't exactly go as planned.
The characters in this film will be totally familiar to sports fans, listeners or callers to talk radio, or as Oswald points out in the Chicago Q&A, Comic book nerds who travel every wednesday to the comic book store. Basically those of us obsessed with whatever our passion is.
This isn't really a sports movie, it's a character drama that's set against the backdrop of NFL. It's not a great movie either, but it's a very good dark comedy. I recommend it, but be warned: You may see yourself.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars.