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Film / Big Fan

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Big Fan is a Black Comedy film by Robert D. Siegel.

Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt) is a parking lot attendant who still lives with his mom (much to her chagrin) in Staten Island, New York. His greatest passion in life is his support for the New York Giants. Every chance he gets, he calls Sports Dogg's radio talk show to spill his passion for how the Giants are virtually unbeatable, and despite not being able to afford a ticket, watches the game on a battery-powered TV in the stadium parking lot with his friend Sal (Kevin Corrigan).

One day, they spot New York Giants star linebacker (and Paul's favourite athlete) Quantrell Bishop (Jonathan Hamm) and his posse in their neighbourhood. They trail him to a strip club, and manage to meet up with him. All goes well until they bring up having trailed him. At which point, mad at having been stalked, Quantrell brutally beats Paul into submission.

Paul wakes up in a hospital with a black eye. His personal injury lawyer brother Jeff (Gino Cafarelli), and NYPD detective Velardi (Matt Servito) urge Paul to press charges against Quantrell and describe what exactly happened that night respectively. However, Paul doesn't want to take action because he doesn't want the Giants to lose one of their star players.

The film was released on January 18th, 2009.

Big Fan contains examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Paul, who doesn't date, shows no interest in getting a lap dance when offered one, and self-pleasures under a poster of Quntrell Bishop.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the climax, Paul appears to snap and shoot Philadelphia Phil with a handgun... until a stunned Phil realizes his "wounds" are red-and-blue paint (the Giants' colors). Paul shot him with a paintball gun.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Paul is trying to defend Bishop to his brother after the beating ("I was bothering him") it sounds uncomfortably like he's trying to justify the action of an abusive partner.
  • Empty Shell: Paul when he's not watching games or calling in to Sports Dogg. He has nothing but the New York Giants and it's clear he wants nothing else.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Bishop and his pals are fairly welcoming to Paul and Sol at first -until they (accidently) mention seeing his drug buy.
  • Karma Houdini: Quantrell gets away with putting Paul in the hospital with a black eye because Paul doesn't want him to go to jail. The most he gets is a temporary suspension.
  • Loser Protagonist: Paul is a man who has obsessively devoted his life to the New York Giants and almost nothing else. He even explicitly states he wants nothing more out of life. When Quantrell beats him, he can't handle his star player being away from the team and refuses to cooperate with the investigation. Ultimately he ends up assaulting a rival Eagles fan, and ends up in prison. He learns nothing from the experience and is ecstatic for the next football season.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Despite Paul remaining tight-lipped about what Quantrell did, and him staying on the team, the Giants still lose to the Philidelphia Eagles. Paul ultimately learns nothing from the experience, even after ending up in prison, remaining as devoted to the team as ever.
  • Skewed Priorities: After Paul wakes up from a four day coma, after being told he nearly died from interior bleeding, all he wants to know it about is Sunday's score.
  • Wrong Assumption: What sets the plot in motion. When Paul mentions that he and Sal are from Staten Island, Bishop correctly assumes that that they've been following him and witnessed a drug buy in a shady neighborhood. What he guesses wrong is that they would know it was a drug buy and are shaking him down for hush money.